At 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 9, 2014, our clocks will move an hour ahead (or spring forward) to begin daylight savings time. And yes, technically called daylight saving time, this means we'll start noticing more daylight as we leave the office.
This time change, which happens twice a year, once in November and once in March, helps people across the country adapt to seasonal changes (and feel a little better about saying goodbye to winter). In Canada, not all provinces have to change their clocks. The province of Saskatchewan (except for the town of Lloydminster and surrounding areas) and Dawson Creek in British Columbia keep things the same all year round.
And as the weather starts to get significantly warmer (or so we're hoping!), you may also start to notice a change in your mood — besides the initial frustration of giving up that extra hour of sleep. Depending on your stress levels, a time change can also alter how you sleep and your energy levels, according to naturopathic doctor Chamandeep Bali of Toronto.
Although experts say most people won't feel anything at all, if you find yourself experiencing spring time fatigue, try yoga, getting more zinc and finding time to work out outdoors.
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Stretch It Out
Grab your running shoes and head outdoors. With the weather getting warmer, why not use that extra hour of daylight to stretch your legs? Being active gives you more energy, changes your mood and eventually, you'll start feel that extra bounce in your step, says naturopathic doctor <a href="http://www.drchamanbali.com/" target="_hplink">Chamandeep Bali</a> of Toronto.
Get More Vitamin D
Bali says getting vitamin D is important, especially because mood changes are often linked to vitamin D deficiencies. And because fall and winter are almost over, getting your daily dose of vitamin D can mean getting more sun exposure (15 to 30 minutes per day) or taking vitamin D supplements, he adds. "When patients don't have enough vitamin D, they are more likely to get a cold, infections or the flu," he says.
Go To Sleep Earlier...Even If It's Hard
It's the simple answer, but it never works. Trying to follow a sleep schedule can be challenging enough, but Bali says adjusting to a time change can just be about getting to bed earlier. Try mapping out your day, eating earlier and tiring yourself out before bed.
Early Morning Stretches
We know, this isn't the easiest thing to get used to either. Bali says waking up earlier and adding in a few exercises or stretches in the morning will help you get to sleep earlier at night. "This way, as the day progresses, you can tire yourself out," he explains.
Snooze With Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that <a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/melatonin-overview">helps regulate sleep cycles,</a> according to WebMD. Bali says shift workers should be extra alert of their sleeping patterns once the time changes. Melatonin supplements could help those who are having trouble sleeping and not producing enough in their own bodies.
Eat The Right Foods
A glass of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/07/foods-before-bed-foods_n_1861940.html#slide=1486524">milk before bed (minus the cookies)</a> can also help you sleep better. Eating healthy snacks before bed like small handful of almonds, a bowl of yogurt with berries, or an apple with peanut butter can also help you fall asleep faster.
Make It Easier On Your End
Your alarm clock is probably the most annoying sound in the morning. To wake up earlier, try <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/tricks-waking-up-sleep_n_2718257.html#slide=2125135">moving your clock (or phone) away from your bed to compel you to get up and turn it off.</a>