It’s that time of year again! This Sunday, March 11, 2018, Daylight Savings Time begins. That means you’ll need to turn your clocks forward one hour before going to bed Saturday night —and also try to adjust to the time change.
Many people have a tough time handling Daylight Savings Time. The time change may confuse your internal clock, making you feel a little out of sorts (sort of like a lesser form of jet lag). When you “spring forward” an hour, you’re actually losing an hour of sleep. On Sunday night, it may be tougher for you to get to sleep, leaving you feeling less well-rested than usual when you wake up. Here are a few tips you can use to better adjust to Daylight Savings Time:
- Prepare in advance. Although you don’t have to turn your clock forward until Sunday, why not try turning just one of your clocks back on Friday after you get home from work? That way, you’ll have had a few days of adjusting to the time change before you get back to work on Monday.
- Slowly tweak the kids’ bedtime. Sometimes the time change is tougher on young kids than adults. Help your kids prepare in advance by moving bedtime up by a few minutes each night leading up to Sunday so it’s not a shock to their systems (and yours!).
- Allow for proper digestion. As you adjust to the time change, you may notice yourself eating meals at later times. Remember to not eat dinner too late so that digestion doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep.
- Get some exercise. If Daylight Savings Time has you feeling a little off, boost your mood and your energy level with a little exercise. It can be as simple as taking a brief walk outdoors, or any other physical activity that you enjoy.
- Take advantage of the sunshine. With Daylight Savings Time, you’ll be experiencing longer days. Be sure to spend a little time outside in the sunshine (don’t forget your sunscreen!), or just open your window shades or blinds to let some natural light into your home. But don’t forget to dim the lights in the evening, signaling to your body that it’s time to begin winding down.
- Don’t forget to change your clocks! While many devices—like your smartphone and cable box—will likely automatically switch their time on Sunday, there are other devices you’ll have to manually update with the new time. Don’t forget about the clocks in your car, oven, or microwave—and most importantly, your bedroom alarm clock.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. This is important year-round but can help you get over the hump of Daylight Savings Time as well. Avoid devices late at night, set and keep a consistent bedtime, and minimize caffeine later in the day, among other tips.