On the last Sunday in March, the clocks go forward one hour, which means we are left with one less hour of darkness. However, that doesn’t mean your sleep has to suffer. Bensons for Beds and The Sleep School have developed some top tips on how to prepare your body so you still achieve your best night’s sleep.
For three days before the change, go to bed and get up 20 minutes earlier each day. Your body clock will already be synced to the new time when it happens. For babies and toddlers it can be helpful to advance daytime naps, meals, baths and books.
The night before
If you have not had the chance to reset your body clock in advance, change your watch to the new time before bed and go to sleep an hour earlier than normal. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours will help you feel rested.
Cherish the darkness
Light prompts your body to wake up and start the day. Since sunshine may radiate through your windows an hour earlier than usual, use a sleep mask to ensure you do not wake up prematurely.
Get up at the same time
It is vital to get up at the same time on Sunday morning as you would do normally. Start your morning right with an invigorating shower and a healthy breakfast.
The perfect sleep environment
Since Daylight Savings is out of your control, why not perfect what is in your control – your sleep haven. For best-quality sleep, ensure your room is quiet, cool, dark and comfortable.
Go for a walk
Days feel longer when it stays light later so fit in a brisk walk, bike ride or jog in the fresh air. Tiring your body will help you to sleep better, but make sure you don’t exercise too late, as this will raise your core body temperature at a time when it should be cooling, which will prevent you from falling asleep.
Light up your day
Light plays an important role in keeping your body clock on time, so it can be helpful to get outside for a walk on Sunday morning. Natural light on your skin will tell your body clock that the day has started.
Stow away electronics
Minimise any disruptions that may prevent you from achieving the perfect night’s sleep. Put away mobile phones and tablets, or put them on silent to reduce sleep interruptions.
Embrace the tiredness
Aim to keep active all day and avoid the urge to have a quick nap on Sunday afternoon. Whilst it might seem like a good idea, it is likely to confuse the body clock further and weaken the chance of sleeping well on Sunday night.