This Sunday, March 11th, we will turn our clocks ahead one hour. And nothing signifies the end of a long, cold and dark winter like the springtime ritual of adjusting our clocks for daylight saving time. For those of us who live in the north, the change of time is a welcome turning point, a signal that our days will become lighter, our moods brighter and our lives more active.
However, it does come at a price: losing out on an hour of sleep. The key to surviving daylight savings time is to take preemptive moves to minimize the impact of losing that precious hour of sleep.
Here are some things you can do to minimize the disruption to your sleep schedule:
Ease Into It
Gradually transition into the time change by making minor adjustments to your sleep schedule. Start going to bed 15 minutes earlier a couple of days before the time change – that' means starting TONIGHT!
Avoid Caffeine Before Bed
Experts say that caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, etc.) can interfere with sleep – and this is especially true when it comes to preparing for daylight savings time. On the Saturday before the time change, try not to consume any caffeine so that you’ll be more tired in the evening, and it will be easier to go to bed early.
Tire Yourself Out the Day Before
The goal is to reclaim the hour that you are going to lose the next day. So, go crazy cleaning your house, complete a hard workout or just spend more time being active and engaged so you’ll be tired and ready for bed sooner than normal.
Try Fooling Yourself
Who says you have to wait until the designated time to move your clock up? Do it in the afternoon beforehand and fake yourself out so you’ll prep for bed earlier. Take a bath, dim the lights, practice relaxation techniques, close the curtains, turn off your electronics early – whatever it takes to pretend that it’s later so you go to bed earlier and give yourself more time to adjust to the actual time change.
Put It Into Perspective
Yes, you’re losing an hour of sleep but you’ve survived losing 60 minutes of sleep before without too much suffering. Remember that the disruption to your sleep schedule will be short-lived, and the payoff will be well worth it when you’re enjoying an extra hour of light in the evening.