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Refreshing Insights

The annual rite of turning our clocks ahead is upon us, which can throw off sleep and decision-making.

2016 daylight saving time starts this Sunday morning, March 13 and for many of us, springing ahead can take the pep out of our step and make us more vulnerable to accidents. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people on average sleep 40 minutes less than their normal time on the Sunday night following this time change.

To combat the effects of the time change, restore your well-being, be safe and make wiser decisions try at least one if not all of the following.

  • Go to bed at your usual time after the time change.
  • Get up at your usual time.
  • Get sunlight soon after awakening; go outside for a walk.
  • Avoid sunlight or bright light in the evening.
  • Don’t nap within a few hours of your regular bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol for several hours before bedtime.

Of course, not everyone has to worry about this. Hawaii, Arizona (except the Navajo Nation), Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not participate in daylight saving time. The rest of us should set our clocks — the ones not programmed to change themselves — ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night.

What’s your coping strategy for springing forward?

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