Daylight savings time — still observed in most states nationwide — begins again at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 5. The practice is rapidly declining in popularity, but most readers will temporarily lose an hour to the switch nonetheless.
The transition is increasingly associated with sleep deprivation and upticks in other dangers such car accidents, heart attacks and strokes. Daylight time apparently produces a mini-jet lag that can have subtle but marked consequence on the body and mind.
To reduce daylight time’s initial health impacts, Northwestern Medicine suggests adjusting one’s circadian rhythms by getting more natural morning light, exercising and going to bed an hour early in the week leading up to the change.
Even if you approach DST with little or no personal preparation, there are things you can do around the house to take advantage of the seasonal shift, Apartment Therapy says, and prepare for the longer nights of spring and summer.
First, of course, you’ll want to reset every clock. Then, take care of some of the seasonal chores that make your home safe and comfortable: Change the smoke detector batteries, reverse the ceiling fans to counterclockwise, and rotate or flip your mattresses and couch cushions.
This is also a great time to #sort and #declutter winter clothing. Chances are that those heavy coats and woolen sweaters are already falling into disuse, so make sure all of them are cleaned and stored, eliminating and #donating any that just didn’t make it into the rotation to ClothingDonations.org.
Outdoors, you’ll have an extra hour of light in the evening to #clean the gutters, #organize the garage, powerwash the deck or prepare your garden for #spring planting. Just be careful going up that ladder as your body slowly adjusts to the new time.
The mental health benefits of making your home #clean, #organized and #clutter-free are well-documented — and they may even outweigh the negative effects of losing an hour of sleep and adjusting to the change in light.
Until a proposal to make daylight time permanent becomes law, we’re stuck with it. So make the most of it by using it as a reminder to do the seasonal tasks you’ve been meaning to do. Time’s a-wastin’!