Spring the clocks ahead on March 12. Daylight Saving Time begins, as do restless nights and exhausted days while people struggle to adjust to “loosing” an hour sleep. Check out these tips for making it through the time change with minimal disruption.
Transition to the time change gradually. Go to bed 15 minutes early the nights before the time change. The hour change won’t seem as startling.
Take a quick nap. After the time change, it’s okay to grab a quick nap if you feel sleepy. But keep it short (20 minutes or less); otherwise, you’ll be more tired and will have trouble falling asleep that night.
Try committing to at least seven hours of sleep. Count back seven hours from your wake up time; that’s your target time to be asleep so you can get the amount of quality sleep the average adult needs.
Keep regular sleep hours. Maintain a consistent bedtime and wakeup schedule to make sleep a priority. Doing so is important, even on the weekends.
Exercise. Any exercise can help you sleep better. Remember to avoid physical activity within two hours of bedtime.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and late night snacks. All three interfere with sleep quality.
Relax before bed in your sleep sanctuary. Find a pre-bed ritual that is relaxing, such as reading, listening to music or soaking in a warm bath. Keep your room cool, quiet and free from distractions.
Check your mattress and pillows. When was the last time you replaced either? Generally, pillows should be replaced each year and mattresses wear out after seven years.
Most of the tips for surviving daylight saving time make for great sleep habits all year long. If you find yourself suffering from exhaustion during the day or restless sleep at night, schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options.