You’ ve probably noticed the days getting a bit longer already, which inevitably means the beginning of Daylight Savings Time is near. Sure enough, this Sunday, March 11, marks the time to set our clocks forward an hour. If you have a tough time adjusting to the bi-annual time change, these tips may help you make a smoother transition:
- Transition gradually. Make small adjustments in your bedtime tonight and Saturday night to minimize the impact of the switch.
- Commit to seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you know you’re going to have a hard time adjusting, commit to doing the best thing for your body, which is to get plenty of sleep on a regular basis.
- Stay on a regular sleep schedule. Keep consistent sleep schedules—even on weekends—to help your body adjust to the time change.
- Get plenty of exercise.Participate in a moderate level of exercise every day to sleep better. Try to finish your workout at least two hours before your bedtime to allow your body to fully quiet down.
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco and alcohol before bed. These substances can interfere with your sleep habits and make it difficult to function during the day.
- Factor in time to relax before bed. Bedtime rituals aren’t just for children. Reduce distractions and stimulation before bed to promote good sleep and relaxation. Read a book, listen to soothing music or soak in a hot bath or shower.
- Avoid screen time. Put away electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. Electronics can hinder melatonin, which triggers sleepiness.
- Transform your sleep space. The room you sleep in should be cool, quiet and relaxing. This will give you the best chance for a good night’s sleep.
- No naps.Daytime naps, even if you are feeling sluggish, can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.
- Enjoy bright light early in the morning. Say hello to the South Carolina sunshine, and if you can’t get to the sun as soon as you get up, turn on the lights in your house.
(Content contributed by Palmetto Health)