Daylight Savings Time: 3 Survival Tips
It’s that time again! Are you ready to “spring forward”? Or are you already dreading Sunday, March 11, when daylight savings time begins? Well, you’re not alone. Losing an hour’s sleep can take a toll on anyone – kids, teens, adults, seniors – and can even affect our pets. But there are ways you can make the transition easier for yourself and your family. You just need to plan ahead. Here are a few tips for surviving the time change:
- Reset your body clock gradually. Starting a few days before the time changes, shift your bedtime routine ahead 15 minutes or so each night. This method works for folks of all ages, and our nonhuman family members, too.
- Skip the Sunday afternoon nap. Even a quick nap will make it harder to get the sleep you need that evening.
- Make quality sleep a priority. The beginning of daylight savings time is the perfect time for a refresher on good sleep habits like these:
- Turn off all electronics, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol for four to six hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. Even moderate exercise like walking can help improve the quality of your sleep.
- Allow two to three hours between meals/snacks and bedtime.
- Set the scene for restful sleep. Your bedroom should be cool, dark and free from distractions.
By following these tips and planning ahead, you’ll be ready to enjoy that extra hour of light starting March 11.
About the Author
Ginger VanNess, MHA, RPSGT, RRT, RCP, a polysomnographic technician and manager of the Cone Health Sleep Disorders Center