At 2 a.m. on Sunday, clocks will spring forward one hour, causing many people to lose out on a bit of sleep. Research shows that in the days following the switch to daylight saving time, heart attacks, traffic accidents and workplace accidents all increase as people adjust to the time change.
Although the one-hour time change can have an extended impact on your body clock and overall health, there are a few ways to minimize the impact of the time adjustment. Here’s how:
- In the few days leading up to Sunday, try to wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual to prepare for a little less sleep.
- Avoid napping on Saturday to ensure your sleepiness come bedtime.
- Get some exercise earlier in the day on Saturday to help advance your body clock.
- Spend some time in the sun on Sunday to help your body clock adjust to the time change.
- Avoid stimulating substances like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine on Saturday, which will help you get better sleep.
- If you feel sleepy on Sunday, take a nap, but limit it to a half-hour or less.
- Make sure your bedroom is always free of distractions, like TVs or other sources of light.
- If you have infants or toddlers, reduce their nap times by about one-third this weekend to prepare them for a bedtime that might feel too early.