By Calvin Gardner, RPSGT, RST
Mission Sleep Center
When the clocks “spring forward” for daylight saving time, many of us are understandably concerned about the impact it’ll have on our sleep. You might be worried about “losing” that hour if you can’t sleep in, or wondering how the time shift will impact your restfulness during the night.
There are some simple ways to make sure your sleep routine isn’t disrupted. Check out these five tips for adjusting to daylight saving time, and rest easy:
- Transition into the time change a few days before daylight saving time by going to bed 15 minutes earlier. It normally takes about a day or so to adjust to the time changes. The rule of thumb is usually a day per hour of time difference. If possible, adjust your bed time 15 minutes earlier for several days prior to the time change.
- If you’re starting to feel sleepy after the change, take a quick nap in the afternoon no longer than 20 minutes.
- Adjust the light in your room – you can help your body find synchronicity by keeping areas bright in the morning and dim at night.
- Keep regular sleep hours – a routine schedule will allow your body and mind to adjust.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed – both are stimulants that will impact your body’s natural sleep patterns. A good rule for caffeine is to avoid it inside of 4 hours prior to bed. Also avoid food for 2-3 hours prior to bedtime.
Calvin Gardner, RPSGT, RST, is the Director of Neuroscience, Clinical Neurophysiology and Mission Sleep Center.
The Mission Health Sleep Center provides specialized assessment, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, and features private and comfortable bedrooms.