As the leaves begin to change color and the air becomes crisper, the days also start to become shorter. Every year, the first Sunday in November marks the end of Daylight Savings Time, and clocks are set back for an hour. By turning the clocks back, we are given an extra hour of sleep and morning daylight, but lose the prolonged nights. Here are some tips on how to preserve your motivation during the shortened days. 

Taking Advantage of Morning Light 

The clocks being set an hour behind lets us see the sunrise an hour earlier. Since the winter months are marked by longer nights, the transition to shorter days can be disorienting and disruptive to people’s daily schedules. If you are someone who usually exercises in the evening, you may experience decreased motivation to trek over to the gym when it is dark during an hour that you have become accustomed to being lit during the summer. To combat this decrease in motivation, consider shifting your schedule to match the earlier hours of daylight and exercise in the morning. 

Practicing Proper Sleep Hygiene 

Setting the clocks back an hour may not seem like a major change for a lot of people. However, people who are already prone to sleep difficulties may experience a harsher adjustment. To create a smoother transition for yourself, consider implementing better sleep-promoting habits. I know it can be tempting to unwind before bed by perusing social media, however, the blue light that is emitted from technology can disturb your sleep patterns. The hormone melatonin is produced by the brain and is important for healthy circadian rhythms. The issue with using electronics before bed is that the blue light emissions can suppress the production of melatonin. In order to set yourself up for the best possible sleep conditions when the hour changes, consider limiting the technology you use before bed. 

Sticking to a Routine 

As important as sleep hygiene is, consistent results depend on how diligent you are with your routine. Creating a realistic schedule, whether it be for daytime or nighttime is crucial for keeping yourself focused and disciplined. To ensure your immune system and sleep-wake cycle stay healthy and balanced, concentrate on prioritizing the practices that contribute to your best possible sleep schedule. 

Schedule Mood-Boosting Activities

When the weather seems bleak and cold, it can be helpful to have something enjoyable to look ahead to. This is especially true for when finals start to take place. Treating yourself to the seasonal menus that places such as Starbucks and Dunkin feature can be a simple way to take a well-deserved break while also reminding yourself about the joyful parts of the season. Along with the limited edition menus, think about shopping downtown in the Fairfield University Bookstore for a new warm sweatshirt. Another way to boost your mood during days that nighttime comes quicker is to develop a new hobby that will make you excited to participate. Hobbies that can be done with friends are even more beneficial for ensuring you stay socially connected during the dreary days. 

With the change of seasons, we are presented with the opportunity to start fresh and embrace new experiences. 

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