This weekend is the one where we set our clocks back one hour to real time: Daylight Savings Time is now over for 2010. This whole “spring forward, fall back” deal started back in 1966 when The Uniform Time Act of 1966 wast started. This federal law was meant to simplify this practice so that all states would change their clocks at the same time. The Energy Policy Act signed into effect under the Bush administration shortened this period of Daylight Savings even further which is why we were trick or treating in the dark for four years. I guess someone in the government figured out that we weren’t really saving any energy by playing with the clocks for a few more weeks, so they put it back to the way it was.
In my humble opinion, here are the benefits of this “fall back” to real time.
First and foremost: we get an “extra hour” today. That boils down to parents are up, kids are still sleeping but they’re not late. You can use that extra hour to have a peaceful breakfast, read your novel, write or all sorts of things.
Theoretically, it should make getting everyone up tomorrow for school and work easier. Kind of like a little jet lag in your favor. That early morning sunshine helps everyone wake up.
It will get darker earlier, this is a benefit if we take advantage of it. As we move into the darkest time of the year, all of nature slows down a bit. Animals go to sleep earlier. We forget, with all of our lightbulbs and screens, that we are also part of nature and that we too would benefit by slowing down and going to sleep a little earlier in November and December.
What if I told you that you could prevent holiday weight gain by getting in the dark and going to sleep a couple of hours earlier for the next two months? Would you do it? One of my favorite books on this topic is, Lights Out: Sugar Sleep & Survival which explains why we gain weight in the winter. Sleep and down time are overlooked sources of nourishment. This is the time of year to embrace them. Unfortunately, our society pushes us to do the opposite: holiday parties, shopping til you drop and staying up late.
I’ll be discussing many strategies to prevent holiday weight gain tomorrow at Gilda’s Club in White Plains NY. I hope to whip these points into a downloadable piece in the next few days. In the meantime, you might want to check out my eBook, Dump Your Diet which also contains valuable information on letting go of unwanted weight.
In the meantime, enjoy that extra hour today, but make sure you get to bed earlier anyway.