9 tips to reduce sleepiness associated with daylight saving time
Daylight saving time starts this weekend. So, how do we reduce time-change sleepiness due to ‘losing’ one hour of sleep?
Because our bodies are set to go to sleep at the same time every night, and wake at the same time every morning, the hour shift that is associated with daylight saving can be disruptive to our sleep.
Here are some sleeping tips for your families, as we gear up for daylight saving time:
1. How to adjust
Split the difference from the time you, or your children, go to sleep and the new time you’re adjusting to, says sleep expert Allison M. Ambort-Gubelli.
2. Prepare early
Start preparing a few days early. About a week before “springing forward,” start going to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime. Your body needs that bit of extra time to make up for the lost hour.
3. Stick to a routine
Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids! Stick to your usual bed-time schedule.
4. Don’t take long naps
Shutting your eyes is tempting, especially if you’re feeling sluggish. But avoiding naps is key for adjusting to the time change, as long daytime naps could make it harder for you to get a full night’s sleep. “If you have to take them, take them early and for no longer than 20 minutes,” says sleep specialist Dr. Harneet Walia.
5. Avoid coffee and alcohol
Put down coffee and caffeinated beverages four to six hours before bedtime. Alcohol also prevents you from getting quality sleep, so avoid it late at night.
6. Put electronics away
Put your phone, computer or tablet away. Turn off the television and pick up a non-suspenseful book. Electronics’ high-intensity light stimulates your brain and hinders melatonin, a hormone that triggers sleepiness, according to Dr. Walia.
7. Take a shower or bath
Hopping into the shower or bath about an hour before bed is incredibly impactful on your sleep and is a great step to incorporate into your nighttime routine.
8. Don't ignore your hunger
If you’re hungry before bed, don’t ignore your craving! While it’s not suggested to go to bed on a full stomach, a small snack can help satisfy your hunger.
9. Create a soothing atmosphere
Dimming the lights in your room, lowering the thermostat slightly, shutting off any noisy items, and tidying your sleeping area are all great ways to get your mind and body ready for a great night’s sleep.