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Ways to Adjust to Daylight Saving Time

5 Tips to Adjust to Daylight Saving Time

Alarm clockWhen it’s time to move the clocks forward an hour in the spring (starting Daylight Saving Time) or moving them back an hour in the fall (ending Daylight Saving Time), losing an hour—or even gaining an hour—can really disrupt your sleep. But there are a few steps you can take to help minimize the disruption.

  1. Maintain your schedule. Make sure to stick to getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Even if the day will be an hour shorter, work your way backwards from the time you’ll have to wake up and set your bedtime accordingly. Getting the full amount of rest for the night will help your body adjust to the time change. Don’t stay up later than usual or sleep in longer based on the time change.
  2. Get ready for the change early. Start preparing for the time change several days in advance by going to bed earlier 15 minutes each day. This way, you can ease into the change, and your body won’t experience the disruption as harshly.
  3. Get enough daylight. Light helps increase serotonin in the brain, which helps you to wake up naturally in the morning. Try to get exposure to sunlight early in the morning or at least during an afternoon walk.
  4. Avoid eating late. Eating late in the evening or close to bedtime can actually disrupt your sleep. So plan to finish your meals and snacks at least 2 to 3 hours before your bedtime. Also, limit caffeine intake to the morning and don’t consume alcohol after early evening.
  5. Set the right environment. Be sure to set up your bedroom and sleeping environment in a way that is conducive to good sleep by doing the following:

    Avoid exercise before bed
    Put away electronic devices at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep
    Create a relaxing bedtime ritual like taking a bath or reading a book
    Make sure your room is dark, quiet and cool at night

Adjusting to the time change is not always easy, but with a little planning, your body clock will be back on schedule before you know it.

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