As we get ready to set our clocks forward on Sunday (a sure sign that spring is near!), we’re thinking about how to get enough sleep despite the time change. Even though we’ll be losing an hour, there are lots of simple things you can do to stay well-rested next week and beyond.
1. Make small adjustments. WebMD recommends going to bed just 15 minutes earlier for several days leading up to the time change. Getting plenty of sleep this week will make the transition easier.
2. Keep exercising during the week. Moderate exercise can help you sleep longer and feel more awake during the day. A half-hour walk three times per week is a great place to start!
3. Get sunlight in the morning. As described by Dr. Alfred Lewy, the Director of Oregon Health and Science University’s Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory, sunlight is needed to regulate and reset the body’s circadian rhythm. So, to get your body clock on the right track for daylight saving time, Dr. Lewy recommends absorbing direct, early morning sun on Saturday and Sunday. However, this means getting up at dawn and going outside to soak it in. So, if you’ve been wanting to go for an early morning walk or hike, this is the perfect weekend to do so!
4. Limit afternoon caffeine. In preparation for slightly earlier bedtimes leading up to daylight saving time, Dr. Michael Breus recommends not drinking caffeinated beverages after 1pm. In addition, he suggests eating meals up to an hour earlier a few days before the time change to give your body time to adjust.
5. Try a “sleep gadget.” Sleep tech gadgets are all the rage, and USA Today has rounded up a few of their favorites. In the coming weeks, we’ll be testing a sleep gadget, too – stay tuned!
Tell us, how do you adjust to daylight saving time? Share your thoughts in the comments section!