The switch to Daylight Savings Time is fast approaching. This weekend, Sunday morning at 2am to be specific, we move our clocks forward an hour. This will create challenges to our sleep routine. We will be waking up again to darker mornings, experiencing brighter evenings, and have symptoms similar to jet-lag. This switch in time can really mess up our circadian rhythm – your internal clock that responds to sun.
Here are some way to adjust to DST.
Adjust your clock early:
In the days leading up to Sunday, shift your bedtime and wake-up time by 15 minutes increments each day to help offset the sudden change. If you normally go to bed at 10, aim to go to bed at 9:45 for the first day (Wednesday), then 9:30 for the second day (Thursday) and so on till you are going to bed at 9 (Saturday night). This means shifting mealtime and other activities as well.
Try Relaxation Aids:
Going to bed early can be hard for some people. Some things that may help you get to sleep include, a weighted blanket (to give you that big bear hug feeling), a white noise machine (to block out any annoying noises), or try a meditation app.
Control Light and Temperature:
As you settle in to bed after the change, it may be lighter in your room, which could affect your sleep. Try using blackout curtains, or eye masks to block out the light. Consider turning the temperature down in your room a bit earlier. The ideal sleeping temperature is between 15.5c and 19.5C. Bringing the temperature of your house or bedroom down earlier in the evening could send a signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
Get Light In The Room Early:
Our body wakes up with the sun. To fight the darkness and the grogginess that comes with it, turn the lights on as soon as you can. Use a sunrise alarm clock, which mimics a sunrise directly into your face.
Getting a good dose of sunlight first thing in the morning, even for 15 minutes can help wake you up. Exercise outside can also help reset your internal clock and promote a healthier sleep.