When Daylight Saving Time ends in the wee hours this Sunday and we set our clocks back an hour, it might be tempting to spend that extra hour sleeping. But that’s just delaying the inevitable transition, which can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling tired, cranky and miserable. The sooner you adjust to the new time, the better off you’ll be.
Here are a few tips to help you smoothly adjust to the time change:
- Keep your regular schedule. Wake up, eat and exercise at your normal times.
- Get moving. Exercise helps advance your body clock and adapt to the time change.
- Don’t take long naps. Limit yourself to a half-hour. Longer daytime naps can make it harder to get a full night’s sleep.
- Have a bedtime routine. Wind down early to help slow your body down. Take a warm bath or shower, and read a book to relax.
- Avoid screen time close to bedtime. Electronics stimulate your brain and make falling asleep more difficult.
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. These substances can impact your sleep.
Seasonal affective disorder
It can take a week or so for your body to adjust to the time change, but if you feel sluggish or down for an extended period, you may have seasonal affective disorder. SAD is a type of depression that is related to the seasons.
If you have extra trouble adjusting to the time change, or you feel dejected as the days get shorter, see a healthcare professional for help. Don’t tough it out on your own – there are a variety of effective treatments to help you enjoy the cooler months and changing seasons.