Every spring, Americans “spring ahead” by changing their clocks ahead by one hour, leaving them with a 60-minute sleep deficit, a few darker mornings, and children and pets who are “off schedule.”

The Facts

The Better Sleep Council conducted surveys in February 2013 and 2014, which revealed that Americans generally feel the time adjustment is “not easy,” and these findings “verified what many experts have said for years – one hour of sleep loss generates a sleep-starved society of epidemic proportions.”

Also, reports from the CDC show that more than half (61 percent) of U.S. adults say they feel the effects of daylight saving time the Monday after resetting their clocks and 39 percent claim that their mood is affected with 5 percent reporting that their mood is altered so much that, “the Incredible Hulk has nothing on them.”

But the more immediate and disruptive part of this cycle is that the sleep deprivation and change in circadian rhythm can lead to a hazy Monday morning after and a drop in productivity as the tiredness sets in. However, this slight change of time isn’t doomsday, a lifelong sentence of tiredness, or a guarantee of an Incredible Hulk transformation. Instead, there are ways to get your rhythm back on schedule.

Here are three simple ways for an easier transition into the new schedule

  1. Use light. Since the daylight hours will be changing a bit, your body needs to adjust. Help speed this adjustment by using your own “light therapy” techniques. During daylight hours, exposure yourself to the sunlight (or other light sources if the sun isn’t out) as much as possible. During the evening hours, avoid bright lights by using dimmed lights and even avoiding turning on the bathroom lights at night if you have to get up.
  1. Catch up when you can. According to the same survey, 29 percent of adults say that it takes a full week to recover. Sometimes this recovery requires impromptu naps or grabbing an extra hour or two of shut-eye the weekend after. Either way, find opportunities to get that sleep back if you are feeling overtired and don’t let it drag on for more than 5-7 days.
  1. Take it all in stride. Although you may feel a bit more sluggish on Monday morning, be extra careful when commuting into work and opt for an extra cup of coffee instead of other sleep/awake drugs that may further alter your mood. Know that this too, shall pass.

And most importantly, do your best to suppress your inner-Hulk and don’t unleash the beast at work or the effects of your daylight saving Monday morning hangover could in fact, be a doomsday sentence.