This weekend, we go through Daylight Saving Time, the time of the year that signifies spring is around the corner. Daylight Saving Time causes our evenings to become brighter, which allows us to be exposed to more hours of sunlight. Although the promise of warmer weather soon approaching is a positive of Daylight Saving Time, for many of us, this is a bad time of year because our bodies lose an hour of sleep.
Unlike during the start of fall when our bodies gain an hour of sleep, losing an hour can take a real negative toll. In order to properly adjust to the time change and ensure it doesn’t affect your health, there are some tips you can follow to smoothen the transition.
For starters, you may want to start heading to bed about 15–20 minutes earlier leading up to Daylight Saving Time. Although this may help ease the time transition, it isn’t necessarily fool-proof. For some people, it takes a whole week to finally get readjusted to the change in time. It’s important that you stick with your normal sleeping hours and keep your body on a schedule.
Other helpful tips include not sleeping in on Sunday and not napping Sunday afternoon, try to avoid worrying as it can disrupt your sleep further, and get some morning daylight and listen to your body if you’re having difficulties falling asleep later on.
Try and wake up 10 minutes earlier than you normally do for the following three days after daylight savings and try to exercise before the daylight if possible. Do not exercise after 5:00 p.m.
If sleeping is still difficult, doctors recommend you take melatonin pills two hours prior to your desired sleep time.
Bedroom-specific tips to improve sleep include keeping your bedroom cool, ensuring your room is dark, and making sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. You may want to consider having a separate set of covers in case you sleep with a partner who is a cover-hog.
By following some of these tips, you can become better adjusted to this weekend’s time change.