The hours of daylight are shifting again—this weekend, we “fall back” one hour with our clocks as Daylight Savings Time ends. This switch back to Standard Time is easier to adjust to because we aren’t losing an hour of sleep like we do in the spring when it begins.

While we might not lose an hour of sleep, we will lose another hour of daylight. The longer nights and shorter days can have major impacts on us, from seasonal affective disorder to weight gain, lethargy and more.

Luckily there are ways to combat the impacts the longer nights can have on us.

Thriving in, or at least surviving, the time change

Many mammals hibernate in the winter and you may feel compelled to do the same, but maintaining your healthy habits as much as possible during winter and Daylight Standard Time can help with any mood shifts and reduce stress during the busy holiday season.

Make time every day for some exercise. You don't have to bundle up and brave the cold to get in the recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day. Getting outside is an option of course, and winter yard work or snow shoveling are not only good exercise but help you get some much needed vitamin D. If you're getting outside during the winter, be sure to do so safely.

Healthy eating can help, too. A healthy diet not only helps your mood and mental health, but it can help your skin stay nourished during the colder, drier months.

If you haven't established a sleep routine, take advantage of the extra night hours to figure out what your bedtime routine might include. Practicing good sleep hygiene can ensure that you get enough sleep and are well-rested all year.

Some people find a light therapy box can be helpful, not only for seasonal affective disorder but for other health concerns too. If you are having trouble coping with seasonal affective disorder or other mental health concerns, talk to your doctor or a therapist.

Change the clocks, change your smoke detector batteries

Setting your clocks back is also a great reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Ideally, smoke detector batteries should be changed once a year, so making a note to change the batteries when you change your clocks is a good way to ensure your smoke detectors are working properly.

When you’re changing the batteries, be sure to check the date the alarm was made. The date will be on the back of the alarm. If it’s 10 years old or more, then it’s time for a whole new alarm.

For more tips to keep you and your family safe and well, check out our Lifespan Living blog.

Lifespan Blog Team

The Lifespan Blog Team is working to provide you with timely and pertinent information that will help keep you and your family happy and healthy.