In Europe Daylight Saving Time (or DST) begins in the last weekend of March and lasts till the last weekend of October. During summer months the clock is adjusted one hour forward.
Most areas of North America and Europe observe DST, while most areas of Africa and Asia do not. South America is mixed, some countries observe DST, others don’t.
Start and end dates vary with location.
Summer means light
The whole idea of DST is to change the clock in order to increase the amount of daylight available in the evening, when most of us are awake. Our biological clocks are regulated by light. Darkness triggers the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. So DST affects our sleep. It also affects our day, because you’ll have longer days in summer.
Pros and cons
There are benefits and drawbacks to DST. Propopents say that it saves energy, it’s good for your health because people have more outdoor activity in summer and it is good for business as it adds more customers because of afternoon shopping.
Opponents say that research has not shown that DST saves energy, that it increases chances of heart attacks and that it is economically and socially disruptive.
Focus on the positive
Since we individually cannot decide whether or not to observe DST, we have to make the best out of it. So, let’s focus on what you CAN do with summer time.
- you can change your opinion on whether or not you can change your wake up time: if you’re convinced you cannot wake up earlier than you do now, with DST you have to! So, let your body adjust to the new rhythm, and after several weeks you can try to do it again! If you could use some tips and pointers to get into it more easily you can check out our coaching program.
- you can try to do you workout outdoors because the days are longer and lighter. With more light late in the day you can try the park in your neighborhood. In the winter you can go back to indoor exercises of course, but nothing beats outdoor exercise.
- you can experience what ‘less TV’ does to you: you can have more outdoor activities in the evening instead of spending your time in front of the television. The most obvious benefit will be weight loss…
- you have more opportunities to get more sun, so more vitamin D, which is good for your health. Enjoy the sun!
- early risers miss the sun when it comes up an hour later, but hey, what can you do when it is dark? Maybe you discover journaling, or meditation or you can plan your day ahead.
Spring forward! 😉