Ready to set your clocks forward an hour? We’re grumbling right along with you—especially since we’ll lose the opportunity to sleep an extra hour thanks to Daylight Savings Time, which starts the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November. You can thank Benjamin Franklin for the invention of Daylight Savings Time to conserve energy. But what about conserving your own energy? The National Sleep Foundation notes that the average person gets 40 minutes less sleep the night after we change the clocks compared to a typical night. An altered sleep schedule can influence your circadian rhythm, your body’s “internal clock” that follows a 24-hour cycle and responds to light and dark changes. Studies have shown that workplace injuries and car accidents increase during the advent of Daylight Savings Time due to lack of sleep.
Optimize Sleep During Daylight Savings Time
Spring Forward doesn’t mean that you have to put your sleep hygiene out of whack, too. We’ve rounded up some tips to help you adjust and get enough sleep during the transition to Daylight Savings Time:
1. Get on schedule
On the eve of the changing of the clocks, go to bed an hour earlier. It might feel unusual, but your body will thank you later.
2. Stash away your screens before bed
When turned on, your electronics emit a blue light that can interfere with your circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep, especially if you are already trying to adjust to Daylight Savings Time. We get how hard it can be to part with your TV, phone, or computer, but we recommend to stop using them at least a half hour before bed. Instead, relax and curl up with a good book, some herbal (decaffeinated) tea or a journal. Keep your phone out of the bedroom while you’re sleeping, too, in case your friends inundate you with messages, saying you you’re missing out from their epic Daylight Savings Time party. (FOMO or sleep? It’s your call.)
3. Keep the curtains drawn while you sleep
Imagine waking up to light streaming into your room, with birds chirping sweetly outside your window. Sounds like a lovely way to wake up, right? Even if you feel like waking up to light in your eyes is more of a nuisance, it’s the way to go. When light fills up your room, it signals to your circadian rhythm that it’s time to wake up. Since Daylight Savings Time will cause it to be darker than you’re used to when you wake up, at least to begin with, try automating your coffee pot to start at your wake-up time. With the aroma of coffee wafting through your nostrils, you’ll be up and at it in no time. (Jawbone users: You can use your wearable to configure your coffee timing!)
What are your tips to optimize your sleep during Daylight Savings Time?
Want better sleep?