Slowly but surely, the sun has been getting up a little earlier and lingering a little later into the evening, surefire signs that spring is on its way. And with spring comes Daylight Saving Time (DST), the night in March when our clocks spring forward an hour, giving us an hour more of daytime in the evening and paving the way for lighter evenings to come.
This year, DST hits at 2am on Sunday, March 12. But by springing forward, we lose an hour of sleep, which can make that next Monday morning a little more yawn-inducing than usual (even if your travel coffee cup is filled with extra-strong java).
According to WebMD, your body will likely feel the effect of this time jump for a few days afterwards, but that doesn’t mean you have to walk around in a zombie-like state until you adjust. To help your body adjust to one less hour of sleep, try one of these strategies.
Transition Your Bedtime and Wake-Up Time Gradually
Starting a few days before the time change, go to bed 15 minutes earlier than you would normally, and wake up 15 minutes earlier too. That way, your body will slowly adjust to the upcoming time change, and you’ll be well-rested once the clock strikes 2am on March 12. (Traveling to a different time zone? This tip will help you avoid jet lag too!)
Get a Good Sweat on Saturday
Grab your tennis shoes and shaker bottle and go for a run (or your preferred type of physical activity) on the Saturday before the time change. Similar to bright light exposure, exercise helps advance the body clock so you feel more alert.
But careful: don’t exercise too late in the day. When you exercise, you raise your body temperature. However, you get sleepy when your body temperature lowers. Instead, plan your workout for midday so your temperature has plenty of time to come down before bedtime.
No Snoozing On Sunday
You’re going to be tempted to sleep extra late on Sunday (especially if you went out the night before). Resist! If you laze around in bed for an extra couple of hours, your body will have an even harder time adjusting to the new time. Get up, grab your insulated travel mug, and get outside for some Vitamin D exposure to further help your body clock advance.
On a similar note, you should avoid catching up on sleep via a long nap. Doing so will only keep you up later that night and hurt your transition to DST. If you’re feeling too tired to function, step outside and let the sunshine stimulate your body clock.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
No, this doesn’t necessarily mean washing your sheets and pillowcases regularly (although we fully support that). When doctors talk about good sleep hygiene, they mean having a consistent sleep schedule, a nighttime ritual devoid of electronics and work emails, and a cool, dark bedroom where you can get your z’s comfortably.
When it’s all said and done, one less hour of sleep is a small price to pay for longer, sunnier days and later sunsets. With these tips and your insulated coffee mug by your side, you’ll be bright-eyed and bushy tailed after DST!Back to Blog Home