Adjusting to the time change is different for everyone. Some people adjust in a few days; for others, it takes more time. Here are some tips for dealing with the time change:
#1: Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
It can be tempting to stay up late and change your routine, knowing you have an extra hour in the day. However, disruptions to sleep can affect our mood, energy levels, concentration, and overall health. The closer you stick to your routine of getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, the faster your body will adjust to the time change.
#2: Limit your screen time
Our phone and computer screens emit high levels of blue light, which is bad for our vision and sleep. Blue light affects your circadian rhythm and melatonin (sleep) hormone levels, tricking your brain into thinking it is still daytime. Try to limit your screen time before bed or use apps that filter out or block blue light to help you get a better night's sleep. Your devices also allow you to set a timer, so your screen automatically reduces the amount of blue light at night and returns to normal in the morning. Here are a few you can try:
#3: Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may prevent your body from relaxing naturally at night. Alcohol can also impact your sleep by disrupting your sleep hormones. Help your body relax and prepare for sleep by avoiding caffeine and alcohol later in the evening.
#4: Take a cat nap if you need one
If you're feeling the effects of daylight saving time, it's okay to take a quick cat nap during the day. Just be sure to limit your naps to 20–30 minutes. Longer naps can disrupt your normal sleep patterns and leave you feeling more tired overall.
Going to bed, even mildly dehydrated, can disrupt your sleep. The human body is roughly 60 percent water, and water plays a crucial role in almost every necessary bodily process. Dehydration causes your mouth and nasal passages to become dry, setting you up for sleep-disruptive snoring and a parched throat, and hoarseness in the morning. Water transports nutrients and oxygen, supports proper muscle contraction, and improves joint function. Being even slightly dehydrated can cause decreases in reaction time, mood, and focus.
A lack of pre-bed fluids can also lead to night leg cramps that may keep you awake. In addition to the frustration of fragmented sleep, being dehydrated during the night can compromise your alertness, energy, and cognitive performance the following day.
#6: Change your clocks the night before
While most smartphones and computers update the time automatically, there are a number of clocks that you'll need to change manually. Change the clocks in your home, including those on your microwave, oven and car, before you go to bed on Sunday. In the morning, you'll be relieved to know all of your clocks have the correct time.
#7: Prepare your kids
Some kids have a tough time adjusting, particularly the young ones who are still napping. Starting a few days before the time change, try to push their naps a little later each day to eventually line them up to where they will be after the time change.
In the end, don't be surprised if you're not quite feeling yourself for a couple of days. Take it easy and you'll adjust quickly.