Cullman County and most of the United States will be moving the clock again on Sunday, this time one hour forward.

During the last 10 years, there has been a lot of debate about the impacts the time changes twice a year have on the human body. There’s been more medical study that moving the clock forward an hour in the spring or back an hour in the all can throw off your body’s internal clock. These effects can lead to both physical and mental problems.

While legislatures and the federal government debate making time changes eventually a thing of the past, there are a few ways you can help your body prepare.

The best thing is to start preparing a few days before the event by adjusting your bedtime. For springing forward, which means you’ll get up an hour earlier than you’ve been used to, sleep professionals suggest going to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier.

But suppose you didn’t prepare as ... fully ... as you could have? Going forward, sticking to a schedule is important, too. Make your meals, your exercise time as well as your bed time a regular routine.

Another suggestion is don’t drink coffee or caffeinated drinks six hours before your bedtime. Also, don’t drink alcohol late at night because it can disrupt your sleep.

And finally, find a way to slow your body down about an hour before you go to sleep. Turn off the TV and computer devices. If you like to read before bed, read a regular book, not a book on a digital device.

Listen to some soothing music, or, sleep sounds as you’re getting yourself ready to go to sleep.

We know many people are going to feel groggy for a few days after Sunday. Pay attention and be cautious, particularly when driving.

Luckily, the effects typically last only a couple of days.

Of course, there’s always a chance that we in Alabama one day won’t have to be concerned with the whole thing.

Twenty-nine states have introduced legislation to do away with the twice-yearly switch, and 18 have passed legislation in the past four years to take up Daylight Saving Time year round.

The 18 states are Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi and Montana (2021). Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio (resolution), South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming (2020). Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington (2019). Florida (2018; California voters also authorized such a change that year, but legislative action is pending). Some states have commissioned studies on the topic including Massachusetts (2017) and Maine (2021).

But the authority to do so has been under the Department of Transportation since 1966 and Alabama and others would need Congressional approval.

Of course, if Alabama and these other states chose to keep Standard Time all year, they wouldn’t need to ask the federal government for its OK.

Just a sliver of sunshine to think about.

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