Spring Forward: How to Adjust to Daylight Saving Time
By the time March rolls around, everyone is usually jonesing for daylight saving time. After all, it promises a precious extra hour of sunshine each evening. But it can also majorly mess with your bedtime routine, especially if you’re someone who has a hard time getting to sleep at night. Try these ideas to help ease the transition.
Spend more time in the light in the early evening. In order to adjust to the extra sunlight, start making the switch a day or two ahead of time. When you come home from work, fill the evening hours with a well-lighted activity—go out to eat, hit the gym, or just keep all the lights on in your home. The artificial light serves as a stand-in sun, signaling your body that it’s not yet time to start getting sleepy.
Then switch off lights and devices later on. When daylight saving time kicks in, you might have a harder time falling asleep due to that extra sunlight. In order to offset this problem, start dimming the lights about an hour before bedtime. This means not only turning off lights in your home and closing the curtains, but also powering down your devices so the blue light they emit doesn’t mess with your slumber.
Cut back on beverages that disrupt sleep. Yes, a glass of wine might make you sleepy at first, but later in the evening, you might find yourself waking up more than you usually do. Alcohol disrupts a normal sleep cycle, and so does caffeine—even if you only drink it in the morning. If you’re worried about adjusting to a new bedtime routine, reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine to make sleep come more easily.
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