How to Cope with the Time Change – Daylight Saving Time is Sunday, March 13
According to WebMD, “In general, ‘losing’ an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than “gaining” an hour in the fall.”
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults between ages 18 and 64, but it says many people sleep an average of 40 minutes less Sunday night after daylight saving time. The NSF recommends planning ahead to avoid being sleepy and to sleep in Sunday morning and nap Sunday afternoon.
Most people should be able to adjust to the change within a day or two, but health experts are offering some suggestions to help cope with the time change:
- Get some exercise Saturday afternoon.
- Spend at least an hour in sunlight on Sunday to help your body clock adjust to the time change.
- Limit heavy eating and avoid complicated tasks — such as computer, tablet or other electronic device use — for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Avoid stimulating substances such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
- If you feel sleepy after the clock switch, take an afternoon nap, but only for 30 minutes or less.
- Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet, dark and free of distraction for the best possible sleep.
- Cut infants’ and toddlers’ nap times by about one-third over the weekend to prepare them for a bedtime that might otherwise feel too early. If young children go to bed late because of the time change, let them get their normal amount of sleep in the morning.
The National Sleep Foundation says daylight saving time is a great time to reset your sleep habits as well. The NSF offers the following sleep tips:
- Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day , and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
- Use bright light to help manage your “body clock.” Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
- Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
- Create a sleep environment that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Save your worries for the daytime . If concerns come to mind, write them in a “worry book” so you can address those issues the next day.
- If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
- Exercise regularly … at any time of the day that feels right for you.
Be prepared for some sleepy co-workers Monday morning. Studies show a significant increase in car accidents on the Monday following a time change, so follow the tips above and be careful on the roads Monday.