On Sunday, November 4, most Americans will set their clocks back an hour at 2:00 a.m for Daylight Saving Time. Before you get too excited about gaining an hour of sleep, setting back your clocks an hour back, only means that it will get darker earlier in the evening.
What is Daylight Saving Time?
DST in the United States starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. It’s Daylight Saving Time because it, in effect, preserves daylight. The idea is based on conserving, or “saving” energy. There are ongoing debates as to whether DST actually achieves this. As of 2018, only 40 percent of the world’s countries move their clocks forward and back twice a year.
Whether we “spring” forward or “fall” back, most of us can feel the effect the change has on our sleep schedules. For many, it can take up to a week or more for our bodies to adjust.
Make gradual adjustments a week before the time change, making an effort to go to bed 15 minutes early. While this can be hard for many people, you’ll be waking up less groggy in the morning.
Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will help your body regulate its sleep pattern and help you get the most out of the hours you sleep.
Avoid stimulating substances
Try avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed as these can interfere with sleep. Try avoiding caffeine up to six hours before bed.
Relax before bed
Stress and over-stimulation can make it hard to fall asleep. Try to avoid intense television programs or movies before bed, or scrolling through social media on your phone. Relax with a book or magazine instead. Try a short meditation, or make up your own relaxation ritual.
While naps may seem like a good idea, many people feel more tired when they wake up. Naps can also throw off your sleep schedule completely. If you feel like you need a nap, fit time during the day, never too close to your routine bed schedule.
Don’t forget to set your clocks before bed!
For more sleep tips, read Claire Barker’s: Six Tips for Better Sleep.