The beginning and end of the daylight savings time marks a one-hour shift for most of the country. We move the clocks forward an hour every spring and back an hour each fall. While it sounds simple enough, this small change can have a big impact on our bodies’ internal clocks and mess with our sleep.
Let’s talk about how we can make this transition as easy as possible:
1. Plan ahead.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, you can help your internal clock adjust to the time change by slowly shifting your bedtime by 15-30 minutes starting about a week before we change the clocks. This can be especially important for kids to help them adjust their routines slowly. (Daylight savings starts on March 14th and ends on November 7th this year.)
2. Spend some time outside during daylight.
When the time changes, we may find ourselves waking up before the sun rises or leaving work after it has already set. But exposure to sunlight is important to regulating our internal clock. If you can, spend a bit of time outdoors each day to make sure you’re getting some sun.
3. Try not to nap.
When daylight savings has you feeling drowsy, it can be tempting to lay down in the middle of the day for a nap. But the Sleep Foundation says you should avoid taking naps that last longer than 20 minutes because longer naps could throw off your circadian rhythm.
4. Watch your caffeine intake.
When you’re feeling sleepy, you might want to grab an extra cup of coffee. But experts say it can be better to let your body adjust naturally instead of increasing your caffeine intake which can negatively impact your sleep.
Make a good night’s sleep a priority
While the start of daylight savings can mean the start of brighter, warmer days to come, it can also be disruptive to our lives. That’s because getting even one bad night’s sleep can have a huge impact on our quality of life. But taking steps now to adjust your routine and making your sleep a priority can make the transition much smoother.
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