Last night I got home at 6 pm. It was chilly and dark. I felt tired from the day and frankly I just wanted to get in the house, put on some warm clothes, have an easy dinner and get to bed. Just a couple weeks ago, the sun was still out at 6 pm. I’d have another 45 minutes to an hour to go outside for a walk, jump rope in my backyard, or race off to the gym for a spin class. The earlier darkness just seems to cut my day so much shorter. And it’s not only me. I bet it’s you too.
Karen attended a recent talk of mine and had this exact same experience, which she calls (DSWGC), the “Daylight Savings Weight Gain Conspiracy.” Aha! So this is how it goes.
First there is that time change: The one where we move our clocks backwards one hour. Remember how excited we were that we were going to be getting an extra hour of sleep! It felt really good the first day but by the end of the week, Karen started to feel out of sync. Actually she was more tired in the morning than she was before the time change.
When lunch time rolled around, she was now hungry at 10:30 am because her body thought it was 11:30 am. Regardless, Karen upheld her regular 11:30am lunch time which by then, made her feel ravenous, left her with lowered blood sugar, and overall a little lethargic. The day rolled along until she got home at 5:30 pm. It was dark and this simply shredded the last bit of spirit to get back out there and get in a workout. It gets even worse because, now Karen has found that her internal clock being out of sync also negatively impacts her sleep.
We all know that after a few weeks, our bodies will get back in sync and we’ll be good to go but this blog isn’t about that. What I hear on a regular basis during this time of year is a lot of worry about food as if we simply have no control over ourselves. There are a lot of factors that impact our appetites and energy and this time change is clearly a big factor. So as you have already turned back your clocks, I’m going to encourage you to step back, look at the whole picture, and adjust. Perhaps there are different times of the day or days of the week that you can exercise. Maybe you can tweak your nutrition so that you eat something more substantial in the morning instead of the evening. Or try my favorite, which is to give myself an extra hour of sleep each night as my body transitions into this new schedule.
Try something new. Be creative and please share your findings below. Your thoughts, remedies, suggestions and findings will surely help inspire and help someone else who’s challenged like Karen.