Are You Ready to Spring Forward?
Daylight Saving Time and "springing forward" can be hard on us all. In the Fall, we gain an hour of sleep, and although our schedules might get thrown off for a bit, it's not so hard to adjust. In the Spring, however, we lose an hour of sleep. And that can be a difficult transition.
Here are a few pointers that may make the change easier for you:
1. STICK TO A SLEEP SCHEDULE
Start to shift your bedtime and meal times now, 15 to 20 min. earlier, increasing by another 15-20 min. every other day until you reach a full hour by Sunday. Then create a sleep schedule and stick to it going forward.
2. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK
Avoid coffee and alcohol, at least four hours before bedtime. Be sure to continue to drink at least 8 glasses of good, clean water daily.
3. CREATE A RESTFUL ENVIRONMENT
Establish your ideal bedtime with good sleep habits. Use the bed for sleeping only. Put your phone, computer and tablet away. Blackout curtains can help. Engage in consistent, soothing bedtime habits (including a bath/hygiene/relaxation routine). Be sure to wake up 15 to 20 min. earlier, increasing by another 15-20 min. every other day until you reach a full hour by Sunday. Starting Monday, be sure to wake at same time every day.
4. LIMIT DAYTIME NAPS
Although it may be tempting, don't take long daytime naps, as it is likely they will interfere with your ability to fall asleep at your bedtime.
5. INCLUDE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Go outside first thing in the morning and take in the natural light. This will help reset your internal clock. Continue to get regular exercise (but not too close to bedtime).