Daylight Saving Time is here again. This Sunday, March 12th, clocks will move forward one hour from 2:00am to 3:00am. While the hour change may seem small, it can have a big impact on sleep and health.
Want to hit snooze? You might feel sleepier than usual Monday morning since the average person sleeps 40 minutes less the night following spring Daylight Saving Time than usual. From taking medication at the same time every day to finding the energy for an afternoon walk, many people rely on daily routines to manage their condition. For some, losing an hour of sleep can throw off more than just a sleep cycle.
Here are a few tips from the National Sleep Foundation to prepare yourself so you can stay on track and spring forward with confidence:
- Make sure you’re caught up on sleep. If you’re already sleep-deprived when Daylight Saving Time comes, it’s going to hit you harder than if you’ve been regularly getting seven to nine hours a night. So, in the week leading up to the time change, pay special attention to clocking the right amount of shut eye.
- Use light to your advantage. Light affects your sleep cycle. So, whenever possible, head outside early in the mornings and soak in some sunlight. At night, make sure you dim your lights when you want to signal to your body that it’s time to go to sleep and avoid staring at computer screens late in the day.
- Rethink your evening activities. Tweaks to your nighttime routine can help you drift off more easily—something that’s tough to do when you spring forward. A few important ones: Limit caffeine and alcohol intake in the hours leading up to bedtime and don’t schedule a nighttime workout.
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