Weekends are made for sleeping in. You wake up when the mood strikes and you enjoy a slow-paced relaxing morning, maybe reading the paper, drinking coffee, lounging in bed. Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, which means that we will need to set our clocks back at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. Many people set their clocks back Saturday night before bed so they are able to get an “extra” hour of sleep. But is this the best method to adjust to the time change?
Our bodies have a natural clock that is a cluster of neurons deep inside the brain. It generates the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours. According to Dr. Alfred Lewy, director of Oregon Health and Science University’s Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory in Portland, “Our body needs a signal every day to reset it. The signal is sunlight, which shines in through the eyes and corrects the cycle from approximately 24 hours to precisely 24 hours,” said Lewy. With the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles not lining up due to the time change, it can cause you to feel out-of-sync, tired and grumpy.
Here are 4 ways to help you adjust to the time change:
- Wake Up at a Normal Time on Sunday Morning
Many people see this time change as an excuse to stay up late on Saturday or sleep in an extra hour longer on Sunday. But sleeping in beyond your normal wake-up time can cause your body confusion and lead to you feeling out of sorts.
Try to get up at your regular time and use the extra hour for some fun family time.
- Eat Well and Exercise
An active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleeping. Plan to use that extra hour to the fullest by taking a walk and then cook up a hearty and nutritious breakfast.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep on Sunday Night
Make sure your room is ready for an earlier bedtime on Sunday by making it a sleep zone. Keep your bedroom cool and dark, and leave your gadgets outside the bedroom to give you minimal distractions, ensuring you have the perfect sleeping environment.
- Be Patient
Know that your body will adjust naturally with time. It may take a few days to feel back to normal, but your body will adjust to the new light-dark cycle.
Remember that with the time change we will get to wake an hour earlier to the sunshine, which can be much more enjoyable in the long run.