March 11th…time to spring forward with daylight saving time. The good news? Days get longer, sunnier, and warm weather is on the horizon. The bad news? Springing forward can leave you worn out and cranky for several weeks. This is because daylight saving time messes with your internal clock that controls your sleep, energy and even hunger. Here are four things you can do to survive daylight saving time like a champ.
1. Stick to your schedule
The key to waking up that first day refreshed and ready for your day is a consistent sleep pattern. Go to sleep early and wake up early for best results. Get a jump on the time change by going to bed and getting up 15 minutes earlier leading up to daylight saving time. This allows you to be better adjusted. In fact, one study found that those who stuck to a sleep schedule leading up to and following daylight saving time were better equipped to handle the time change…and they slept better all year long.
2. Work out
Exercise will help you sleep better in the short and long term. Consistent and frequent exercise is the key, in fact, you’ll sleep even better if you work out at the same time each day.
3. Make sure you wind-down
Establish a wind-down period in the weeks leading up to daylight saving time. Starting at about 7:30 in the evening, drink no caffeine or alcohol, and do other things such as turning down the lights and having no screen time. Perfect time to take a bath or read a book maybe?
4. Get some sunshine
Be sure to spend some time in the sun! Soaking up some Vitamin D from the sun has a positive effect on regulating sleep/wake cycles…and it can’t hurt your mood either!