For many, the beginning of daylight saving time marks the beginning of spring, and the unfortunate loss of one hour from the day. Daylight saving time was first enacted in Europe in 1916, in hopes to cut down energy use in the spring and summer, when it stays light out for longer into the evening.
Here are a few easy tips to make the “spring forward” time adjustment – happening at 2 a.m. on March 13 this year – a little easier:
Allow yourself to adapt
Waking up to realize it’s suddenly 8 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. can be a rude awaking. Give yourself time to prepare for this adjustment by going to bed a little earlier and waking a little earlier during the week leading up to the time change. Taking the time to gradually adjust will make the change easier to take on Sunday.
Don’t overdo the caffeine
While it might be tempting to down an extra cup of coffee or another soda in the afternoon to deal with the time change, try to limit the extra caffeine you consume to make sure you’ll be able to fall asleep later that night. As a rule of thumb, avoid caffeine all together after lunch, or at least five hours before you’d like to be falling asleep.
While this tip might be the hardest thing on this list to do, it might be one of the most beneficial things you can do to really get used to the time change – don’t snooze! Be honest about what time you would like to be awake, or what time you absolutely need to be up, set your alarm for that time, and get out of bed after it goes off. You’ll notice that you’ll feel more awake (although maybe not at first) because the sleep you’re getting during those short snooze periods, isn’t quality sleep and works against the whole night of sleep you got in before the alarm.
Utilize the change as a schedule refresh
While it’s going to be painful those first couple mornings, remember how much lighter the days will be at night and know that warmer weather is on the way! If you noticed that your sleep habits or qualify of sleep is still lacking long after the time change, we would encourage you to reach out to one of the doctors at Iowa Sleep or send in a question through our easy online form.