4 ways to use daylight savings to your advantage (while everyone else is asleep)

Many Americans will spend (at least) the beginning of this week complaining about having lost an hour of sleep. But there are some hidden beauties in the extra hour of darkness — so instead of wallowing with everyone else, make this time change work for you.

See things in a new (morning) light

Part of the beauty of springing ahead is that, for early risers, things will look a little different with the additional hour of darkness. Use this opportunity to revisit some of your favorite views — catching the sunrise (or even those stunning not-quite-dark but low-light scenes) will be a lot easier in the next few weeks than at most other times of the year.

Reset your schedule

If you’ve been trying to wake up earlier, start a morning exercise or meditation routine, or perhaps simply get on a more regular sleep schedule, use this as an opportunity to do so. If you’re already going to be tired from the lost hour, why not use it as chance to put into effect a full reset?

If you’re still hitting snooze, plan something the night before that will make you get out of bed. Street sweeping at 6AM? Park your car in a street sweeping zone. Need hot coffee first thing? Invest in a coffee pot with a timer. If exercise if your goal, sign up for personal training or a class that won’t allow late cancellations. Whatever your flavor, a forcing function can help you get up for the first few days and give you an extra incentive to get into a new routine.

Use that extra hour

While everyone else is yawning through the afternoon, get yourself a(nother) coffee and enjoy your extra hour of light in the evening. Go for a bike ride, set up an outdoor dinner with friends, or even just go for a walk around your neighborhood — sure, everyone will be taking things outdoors when summer rolls around, but get a head start on enjoying the warmer seasons.

Be the light in the room

With your newfound love for the “lost” hour, be the one to help others see the beauty in it. When your coworkers are complaining about how dark it was when they woke up, show them your photos of the new view you captured this morning. When your workout buddy tries to cancel due to lost sleep, share how you’re using the opportunity to reset and refocus on your goals.

Even if nobody changes their behavior, you will, at the very least, be the happiest person in the room — something that can increase your productivity and improve your overall health. Who can complain about that?

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