The daylight saving time change of March 12, 2017 means most of us will spring forward and advance our clocks one hour. This means an hour of daylight in morning moves to the evening. The benefit is we get long summer evenings, but waking up on Monday can be tough. Losing that one hour of precious sleep during the night could result in requiring an extra boost of energy. Of course, this change affect us depending on our personal sleep habits, health and lifestyle.
Here are the Better Sleep Council’s Top Ten Tips for Surviving Daylight Saving Time:
- Gradually Transition into the Time Change
To minimize the impact of the switch to daylight saving time, make gradual adjustments. Go to bed 15 minutes early, starting several days before the change.
- Sleepy? Take a Quick Nap
If you feel sleepy after the change to daylight saving time, take a short nap in the afternoon – no more than 20 minutes long.
- Commit to 7-8 Hours of Sleep
The average adult needs 7-8 hours of quality sleep each and every night. Work backward from your wake time and commit to getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
- Keep Regular Sleep Hours
Make sleep a priority by keeping consistent sleep (bedtime) and wake schedules – even on the weekends.
- Exercise during the Day
Even moderate exercise, such as walking, can help you sleep better. Just make sure you don’t work out within two hours of bedtime.
- Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol before Bed
Alcohol and caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, etc.) can interfere with sleep habits. Smokers should also avoid tobacco before bed, as it can lead to poor sleep.
- Eat Light at Night
Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bed. Eating too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep quality.
- Relax before Bed
Create a bedtime ritual that is relaxing. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music, or soaking in a hot bath or shower.
- Create a Sleep Sanctuary
Transform your room into a haven of comfort and relaxation by creating a sleep sanctuary. Make sure your room is cool, quiet and free of distraction for the best possible sleep.
- Evaluate Your Mattress and Pillows
Evaluate your mattress and pillows for proper comfort and support. If your mattress is seven years old or older, it may be time for a new one. In general, pillows should be replaced every year.
Light is a natural cue to wake up. It suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a sleep inducing substance, in our bodies. Though we are approaching spring and summer, the days after the time change can be difficult. It’s important to get light during our waking hours as much as possible. Equally important, we should not expose ourselves to bright light if it is dark outside.
Some people get a head start by going to bed and waking up a bit earlier progressively each day until the big day gets here.