Get ready to spring forward: daylight savings time is this Sunday, March 13th. The biannual clock re-setting may be antiquated and controversial…but it’s still the law!
At 2 am EST in the US, our clocks will be set 1 hour ahead. Meaning—you lose 1 hour of precious sleep. The change in time throws our sleep system off, impacting our circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle) and affecting how much melatonin (sleep hormone) our bodies produce. This causes a jet-lag like grogginess.
Luckily, making a few simple changes throughout the weekend can make a big difference. Follow this weekend sleep guide to dealing with daylight savings:
– Start imagining it’s daylight savings tonight and go to bed a ½ to 1 hour earlier than normal.
– Take melatonin for the next few nights, which aids in resetting your circadian rhythm.
– Commit to getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night this weekend.
– Though it may be difficult, wake up a ½ to 1 hour earlier than normal.
– Get outside in natural light and exercise during the day, even if it’s a moderate activity like taking a walk.
– Before you go to bed, set any clocks back that won’t automatically adjust (like a microwave, oven, and watch).
– Go to bed 1 hour earlier than normal.
– Start the day 1 hour earlier than your usual wake time. Again, get as much exposure to bright light as possible.
– If you’re feeling sleepy during the day, take a short nap in the afternoon for no more than 20 minutes.
– 1-2 hours before bedtime, try a few relaxing activities like taking a warm bath, drinking tea, and dimming the lights to evoke sleepiness.
– Now that the clocks have been reset, go to bed at your “normal” time.
– Avoid hitting snooze and get up at your normal wake time. Even if you’re not feeling 100%, you’ll most likely be ahead of everyone else.
For more sleep tips, check out our guide to smart sleeping.