Daylight saving time; whether you love the extra hour of sleep in the fall or enjoy the longer hours of evening light in the spring, the initial change brings one thing for us all. Decreased daylight. Darker mornings can disrupt your body's natural sleep-wake cycle in the spring. In the fall, setting our clocks back an hour means less sunlight, bringing an additional hour of darkness and, along with it, feelings of tiredness and sadness. Thankfully, there is an easy remedy to the adverse effects of decreased daylight. The outdoors!
How Can the Outdoors Help with Decreased Daylight?
Daylight saving time means a disruption to our circadian rhythms. Our established routines and cycles, which tend to sync up with the sun and the moon, are suddenly thrown into confusion. This may trigger poor sleep, increased rates of seasonal depression, and feelings of grogginess during the day. Exposing yourself to the sun's rays during the day while keeping your room dark at night may help combat these effects.
Getting outside in the sunshine can be much more effective and natural during daylight hours than using artificial lights or taking melatonin at night. It should help reset your circadian cycle, getting you back into the groove.
Ways to Get More Daylight
Sit outside in the sunshine. Perhaps the most effective way to get more daylight is to sit outdoors in the sun. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D is produced. Vitamin D is responsible for melanin and, ultimately, melatonin production. These chemicals play a prominent role in our sleep cycles. Aside from sleep, the more sun we get, the better mood we are in.
While you can certainly sit outside on a bench or chair, mother nature might not always make this easy.
Instead of letting an uncomfortable outdoor space keep you inside, consider adding a sunroom, covered porch, or patio. A sunroom or deck can allow you to enjoy the sun's rays without having to worry about the wind, scorching heat, or a sloped backyard that isn't ideal for sitting. A cozy outdoor or indoor/outdoor space can truly help you maximize your sun exposure when you need it most.
Go for a walk. Going for a walk outdoors has more than one benefit. Outside, you will be exposed to the sun's rays. Additionally, movement and exercise may help with your natural clock. Physical activity is recommended during the early morning or afternoon, so your body has enough time to return to its average temperature and heart rate before bedtime.
Work near a bright window. If you can't be outside, working next to a large window that lets the sun in is the next best thing. Artificial lights are a great alternative on gloomy days. However, proper light exposure while outdoors often has the best effects.
Outsmart Daylight Saving Time Year After Year
Suppose you want a failsafe method to beat the seasonal blues and disrupted sleep that accompanies daylight saving time. In that case, a dedicated outdoor space can help you maximize your exposure to sunlight. Carolina Home Exteriors has a variety of options to suit your needs; from patios to screened-in porches, we're here to help you comfortably catch the sun's rays.