‘Springing forward’ every March is simultaneously the best and hardest part of the year.
Without a doubt, we love the longer hours of sunlight. More vitamin D rays in a day ups our joie de vivre by no insignificant amount.
And yet…losing an hour of sleep is always trickier than we except. In the days (sometimes, weeks) following daylight savings, we encounter groggier mornings and a little too much alertness as we get closer to midnight.
Here are 4 tips to help you adjust to the spring Daylight Savings (and cope with losing that hour of sleep).
1. Psych yourself out.
The more you buy into the hour change, the more easily your body will adjust. In other words, stop thinking about what time it “actually” is according to your schedule before daylight savings. Just get on board, accept the reality of the new time, and live your life on its original timetable.
2. Prep your body for sleep.
Your body has a pretty stable internal clock, but it’s not impossible to shift. Help it out by preparing yourself physically for sleep until you feel adjusted. This means avoiding caffeine after noon, not eating 2-3 hours before bed, and staying active during the day.
3. Beware of light exposure.
Your body automatically winds down when it notices that the sun has set. With the longer light hours, you might be a little confused. If you need some extra help, shut shades earlier and limit screen exposure several few hours before bedtime.
4. Get up and at ‘em.
When we know we’re losing an hour of sleep, we want to just sleep in. The harsh reality is, that’s not helping you adjust. Set an alarm for your usual time. Then, get outside in the light! Being in the sun helps you wake up and get going for the day.
Once you’re adjusted, enjoy the longer light hours and all the growth spring brings!