Five Technologies That Could Ease the Transition to Daylight Saving Time

Don’t forget, it’s nearly time to “Spring forward!” Here are some strategies to help you deal with the change

The Groclock aims to teach little kids to stay in bed until a predetermined time. Gro Company

It doesn't really save energy. Farmers actually hate it. It may cause heart attacks.

But, despite attacks from states such as Florida, the 101-year-old tradition of Daylight Saving Time seems here to stay. And by the time June rolls around and we're enjoying 8 p.m. al fresco dinners in the sunlight, most of us appreciate it.

Still, change is hard, even when it happens twice a year. Here are five technologies and tech-based strategies that could help make the transition a bit smoother.

Smart Lighting

The sudden change in clock time can throw your sleep cycles out of whack. A smart lighting system called Orro turns lights on and off based on your presence, which it detects through sound and movement sensors, and automatically adjusts light levels based on time of day, aiming to reproduce the natural lighting patterns that can bolster your circadian rhythm and help you sleep better.

Toddler Training Clock

Little kids are notorious for getting up whenever they darn well please. The popular Groclock aims to teach them to at least stay in bed until a predetermined time, even when they're too little to read a regular clock. At night, the Groclock's digital face shows a picture of the moon, with a circle of stars that disappear one by one as morning approaches. When it's "wake up time," an image of the sun appears. Then it's A-OK to go jump on mom and dad. 

Don't Forget Your Meds!

Many medications must be taken at the same time each day for maximum effectiveness. Don't let the clock change mess things up. Try a management system like PillDrill, a device that reminds you when it's time to take a medication, then tracks whether you've actually done so via a digital scanner. This could be especially helpful if daylight saving throws off the contextual cues that aid with remembering—if you're used to, say, popping your birth control pill when you wake up and see rays of sunlight coming through the blinds, a sudden morning darkness could make you forget. 

Lighten Up

Light is the key to adjusting circadian rhythms. A number of products on the market promise to help wake you up by simulating natural sunrise, the perfect thing for March mornings when the clock swears it's 7 a.m. but the gloom feels more like midnight. Many reviewers swear by the relatively pricey Philips version, which gradually changes from soft dawn reds to bright morning yellows; there are well-reviewed cheaper lights too. 

Curbing DST Overspending

Some research suggests that we spend more money directly after daylight saving. It's not a ton—less than a 1 percent increase in daily credit card spending—but maybe you'd rather not drop that extra cash unconsciously. So try downloading one of the many budgeting apps on the market, which can help you track your spending down to the last dollar. A new option is gini, a recently released app that displays each transaction you make next to an icon for its category (rent, food, etc.), and generates custom pie charts to show you where your money's going. If you start spending too much, it'll send you a warning. But don't worry too much: spending drops more at the end of DST than it rises in March, earning you back whatever money you've burned and more. 

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