Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time begins this Sunday, March 11. We put together a list of eight tips to help you adjust to the time change.

Tip #1: Don’t Force Sleep

Falling and staying asleep isn’t always easy. Sometimes you can’t seem to get your mind to shut down. If this happens to you, get up! You can’t force sleep. Do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Reading, writing, listening to music and meditating are a few of our favorite things to do to relax.

Tip #2: Exercise During the Day

In addition to being good for your physical health, exercise can have a positive impact on your sleep. It is a good idea to try exercising at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week or more. Avoid working out too close to your bedtime. Experts recommend ending your workout at least two hours before you head to bed.

Tip #3: Keep Calm

Don’t work yourself up over the time change. Remember, the time change happens every year. You’ve made it so far! Stress can ruin a good night’s sleep. Find something that helps you relax. Spend some time before your scheduled bedtime to do something that helps put your mind at ease.

Tip #4: Light Control

Natural sunlight can help naturally reset your body’s internal clock. Light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. Expose yourself to light during the day, and avoid bright lights when the sun goes down. Letting natural light come into your bedroom in the morning can help increase alertness upon awakening. Enjoy the extra hour of natural light during the day!

Tip #5: Avoid Stimulating Substances

Alcohol, caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate and some pain relievers) and tobacco can interfere with your sleep cycle. Avoiding them for 4 to 6 hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep. If possible, try limiting your intake of these substances a few days before the time change.

Tip #6: Time Naps Correctly

It is best to avoid naps when adjusting to the time change. If you must take one, mid-afternoon is the best time. Try and avoid taking naps longer than 30 minutes. When you feel like you absolutely need a nap, try stepping into the sun to stimulate your body and help retrain your internal clock.

Tip #7: Eat Light

Avoid spicy food, fatty food and excessive eating before bedtime. Eating light, simple foods several hours before going to bed is the most beneficial. Trust us, we know. Sometimes you just need a midnight snack. Try to eat something that is easy to digest.

Tip #8: Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Everybody has an ideal sleep environment. Complete darkness, earplugs and white noise are just a few of the things that you may like. If you have restless pets, consider keeping them out of your room for the night. Most important of all, turn off the screens! Electronics like your television, computer, phone and tablet can keep you awake.

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