Turning the clock forward or back for Daylight Saving Time will be disruptive to our body clocks. Losing an hour in the spring can leave you feeling tired and groggy for at least a week or two, while the extra hour in the fall may feel like a luxury, but can also be disruptive to your natural body clock. Not to mention the changes in morning light and evening darkness that coincide with the time change will also play a role. Follow these tips to get through time change sleep disruption so that when morning comes you’re ready to face the day.
KNOW YOUR NUMBER:
Now that you’ve worked through many of your sleep issues, you should know the perfect number of hours you need to feel your very best each day. This is a good place to start as we make the adjustment for the “Spring Forward.”
Ease into it. Let’s say you are used to going to bed each night at 10:00 PM. However, now with the loss of one hour, 10:00 PM is going to feel like 11:00 PM for at least the first 5 days, and the problem is most of us don’t get to sleep in for an extra hour in the morning, so you will be losing one full hour of sleep.
- To compensate for this, on the first night of the time change, go to bed just 30 minutes later then you normally would. If 10 pm is normally bedtime this means you would need to be in bed by 9:30 (old time was 10:30) the first 3 days after the time change.
- On the 4th night push bedtime back to normal, which would be 10:00 pm. Know that it’s going to take a few more days until you feel properly adjusted.
- Get up at the same time in the A.M. For most of us, this is a must anyway because we have to get up by a certain time to deal with family or get ourselves ready for work. You’ll feel tired, as your body clock is use to that extra 30 min, but by then end of the first week you should be back to waking up fairly refreshed and by the end of week two you should be naturally waking up at this time.
- Pay attention to the light changes in your room. If you notice the sun coming up before your normal wake up time, you’ll need to make arrangements to block it out as much as possible. Also if the sun is staying up later.
Just remember that body clocks take time to adjust. Even small changes like this will take a week or two to get use to, so be patient with your body and know that if you keep to all your great sleep hygiene and don’t fall back into old habits, you’ll be doing just fine in no time.
If you feel that you are not sleeping the proper amount each night, or have questions about how to improve your sleep please feel free to reach out. My passion is getting people back to sleep, and I am really good at what I do!