Share The Health

Spring Forward to a Good Night's Sleep

03-09-2016

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 13th, at 2:00 a.m. Most cell phone clocks will spring forward automatically, but remember to set any manual clocks one hour forward before going to bed on Saturday night.

While losing an hour of sleep is never easy, there are ways to make the time change a little bit easier.

On Saturday:

Get some exercise early in the day to help advance your body’s clock. If you’re unable to exercise, you can also increase the amount of light exposure you receive on Saturday before the time change.

On Sunday:

As tempting as it may be, don’t sleep in on Sunday. Try getting out of bed at your normal wake-up time. Spending additional time in bed on Sunday will make for a tough adjustment on Monday morning. Also, just like you did on Saturday, spend time outdoors getting some light exposure and physical activity.

If you have kids at home, these tips will work for them as well. And remember, adjusting to Daylight Saving Time can be tough—on adults and children. So if you’re feeling run down and your family members are a little cranky, keep in mind that everyone might need a little more rest and relaxation.

What about the rest of the year?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, Daylight Saving Time is a great time to re-evaluate and reset your sleep habits. If you’re having trouble sleeping, here are a few things you can do to get a better night’s sleep:

  • Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day. It’s best to avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
  • Use bright light to help manage your “body clock.” Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep, to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
  • Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
  • Create a sleep environment that is quiet, dark, and cool, with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write them in a “worry book” so you can address those issues the next day.
  • If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
  • Exercise regularly…at any time of the day that feels right for you.

March 6 – 13, 2016 is Sleep Awareness Week. To learn more about how you can achieve better sleep in just 7 days, click here.

If you would like to learn more about sleep health and improving your sleep, you can visit the National Sleep Foundation website at sleepfoundation.org.