Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday at 2:00 a.m., and admittedly it’s kind of a hard sell. We lose an hour of sleep, which affects everyone’s sleep schedules and can be especially problematic for those with children and pets. But there are also benefits for having to spring forward. The days get longer and there is more sunshine in the evening, which for many, including myself, makes up for the fact that we lose an hour of sleep once a year.
More sunshine during the day
The obvious benefit of Daylight Saving Time is that it stays lighter later in the day. Though the sun rises a bit later as well, it is nice to have the sun shining until 9:00pm during the summer. For those of us who occasionally have to work late, it’s nice to come out of work and still have a bit of sunshine left. Outdoor activities can go well into the evening and having to run errands after work means you can still get home before the sun sets. Regardless of what you do with it, it’s nice to have hours and hours of sunlight each day, instead of early afternoon sunsets like we get all winter.
The beginning of Spring
Daylight Saving Time also serves as the unofficial beginning to spring. Though spring doesn’t officially begin until March 20th, the later sunlight is always indicative of the changing of the seasons. And spring usually means less rain, which is nice for those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, and a return to warmer temperatures. Spring brings some of the nicest weather of the year no matter where you live, so it’s always a welcome change.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a real thing. Most people who have it become depressed or have related issues during the winter months, with lack of sunlight being one of the biggest contributing factors. We get many benefits from the sun, especially vitamin D, and with more hours of sunlight during the day because of Daylight Saving Time, it helps reverse the affects of SAD. Though the change won’t be immediate, many people find that their mood improves after Daylight Savings because it signals the beginning of spring and summer when it will stay light outside well into the evening.
A new start
Daylight Savings can also be a good time to get a fresh start with a better sleep schedule, and resetting your clocks is a good time to check other things, like smoke detector batteries. Though losing an hour of sleep is a pain, it can help jumpstart a change in sleep habits. Set your clocks ahead early, or pretend it’s later than it is for those of us with devices that automatically update, and go to bed earlier. Try out a new before bed activity, like reading a book or meditating. If your New Years resolution was to have better sleep habits but you got off track, this is the perfect time to correct or start over. Though you can adjust your sleep habits at any time of the year, Daylight Saving Time is a good time to start since it will affect your sleep schedule one way or another, and this way it can be on your terms.
Daylight Saving Time ending
If you’re one of those people who just hates Daylight Savings and can’t find anything good about it, then the plus side is that it will eventually come to an end. Daylight Saving Time ends on November 5th, so you’ll get that hour of sleep back, as well as a return to the seemingly unending winter darkness. The downside is that it will inevitably start back up again, unless you move to Arizona, Hawaii, or one of the U.S. territories that do not observe Daylight Saving Time.
Hopefully these reasons will help you rethink your dread about losing on hour of sleep on Sunday. While there will always be people who want to do away with Daylight Saving Time, these are ways to make the best out of a situation you’d rather not be in. Of course, there are also those of us who welcome this day and look forward to sunshine late into the evening.
Do you love or hate Daylight Saving Time? Let us know in the comments.