Daylight Saving Time: How to spring forward without losing sleep
If you’re already feeling a bit sleep-deprived (and, really, who isn’t?), get ready to lose another precious hour of slumber Sunday, when Daylight Saving Time will have us setting our clocks ahead one hour at 2 a.m.
And losing that hour? Well, get ready to feel grouchy. A survey from the Better Sleep Council finds 61 percent of U.S. adults feel the effects of the time change Monday morning, while 39 percent report moodiness. (Less sleep certainly makes us angry.) In fact, according to the survey, 11 percent of respondents say it takes a whole week to return to normal.
“If you think about it, the time clock may change with an easy click, but our body clock’s adjustment is more complicated,” Nancy Rothstein, a sleep educator (um, how do we score that job?) and consultant with mattress retailer Sleepy’s, says in a release. “DST can challenge our sleep, health and even our safety by imposing an unnatural tweak to our internal clock.”
So, what can you do to ease the time transition? Here are a few tips:
Spring forward earlier. Duh? Yes. But even a few minutes of snooze time can make a real difference in how you feel once that alarm clock starts blaring. Since Daylight Saving happens on the weekend, get a jump on it and set your clocks back at 2 a.m. — on Saturday, Rothstein says. That way your kids won’t be quite as cranky Monday morning (and they’ll get to watch an extra hour of cartoons, too!).
Go shopping! An excuse to buy something new? Yes, please. Rothstein recommends picking up a brand new alarm clock with a new tone. “This way you already have ‘sleep on the brain’ which can help you prepare for the adjustment,” she says in the release.
Try a natural sleep aid. We’ve never been keen on warm milk. But Dream Water? Sign us up for a case of this natural calorie-free relaxer that includes GABA, melatonin and 5-HTP (tryptophan) that comes in a 2.5-ounce shot. We like the Snoozeberry flavor (blueberry and pomegranate — yum!), but it also comes in Lullaby Lemon with hints of tea and Pineapple PM. Just take it half an hour before you want to fall asleep and sweet dreams will be yours. Find it at retailers like Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Safeway and Target and more than 1,000 airport retailers for $2.99 a shot.
Get moving. Even just a little exercise — think a quick walk around the block during your lunch hour — can improve your sleep, the Better Sleep Council notes, adding that your workout should end at least a couple hours before you hit the sheets.
Complete some must-do tasks. When you’re resetting your clocks, also be sure to replace the batteries in all your smoke alarms, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends. The agency sites the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey that found just three out of four homes reported changing the batteries in their smoke alarms in the last six months. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau report also showed just 42 percent of U.S. homes reported having a working carbon monoxide alarm. Don’t have one? Get one for each level of your home, the CPSC advises.