The problem comes with an abrupt change to your Circadian rhythm and that messes up your sleep cycle. The affects of sleep depravation are dramatic. And changing your sleep cycle like this causes you to lose sleep until you adjust. And that can take weeks.
One of the things that prolongs the adjustment to daylight savings time is the lack of sun. The body is made to wake at dawn. The common work schedule accommodates this. The first few weeks of springing forward does not. It is still dark in most of the United States at the beginning of spring.
But you can use the body's natural waking mechanism to transition in to spring easily. With the use of a full-spectrum fluorescent light you can trick your body into thinking the sun is up and wake up without breaking your circadian rhythm (that's what makes you feel groggy). Here is what you do:
- Fluorescent light fixture with a diffuser (white plastic cover) and a power chord
- Timer that turns whatever is plugged into it on and off
- Full-spectrum or sun-spectrum fluorescent light bulbs
- Plug the light fixture (with the full-spectrum bulbs) into the timer and place it in your bedroom where the reflected light will hit your body. Bounce the light off the wall, floor or ceiling and block it from directly shining on you.
- Two weeks before you spring forward set the timer for 15 minutes before your alarm goes off (assuming you wake around dawn).
- Push the timer back an additional 5 minutes each day until you reach 1 hour, 15 minutes.
- Keep the light coming on at that time until the sun starts coming up instead.