Nothing to Lose Sleep Over
It’s that time of year—spring is just around the corner, and we’re about to have daylight saving time (DST) sprung upon us. That means an hour more of daylight—but an hour less of sleep! DST begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11. To avoid walking around like a zombie in the coming weeks, follow these suggestions:
- Ease into it. Gradually transition into the time change over the course of seven to 10 days by going to bed a few minutes earlier each night and waking up a few minutes earlier each morning.
- Dine fashionably late(r). Starting the week before it is time to turn your clocks ahead, gradually shift your dinnertime a few minutes later; this will not only help you get on the right eating schedule, but it will also help your body adjust for bedtime.
- Nap a little. If you feel sleepy after the change to DST, take a short nap (no more than 20 to 30 minutes) in the afternoon—but not too close to bedtime. The ideal time for a quick snooze is between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Nix the stimulants and spirits. Caffeine and alcohol interfere with your sleep cycle; limit your intake two or three days before the time changes.
- Chill out. Prepare for sleep by curtailing activities one hour before the new bedtime. Take a warm bath, read a book, listen to soothing music—anything that calms you and inspires shut-eye. Don’t tackle any complicated tasks an hour before bed, and remember the bedroom is for sleeping, not watching TV or playing on your smartphone.
- Move it. Getting exercise during the day will help you sleep better at night.
- Drive carefully. Use caution behind the wheel; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sleep deprivation due to the time change drastically increases road accidents.