While it’s usually easier to fall back an hour in the winter than it is to spring ahead every year, daylight saving time still isn’t without some challenging bedtime issues. In the fall, people usually have a more difficult time falling asleep the first week after the time change. With daylight saving time on November 3rd this year, here are a few tips to help you combat this and restore your internal body clock.
Avoid Electronics Before Bedtime
Two hours before bedtime, turn off all electronics, which means not checking social media, reading your Kindle or streaming Netflix. Blue light emitted from electronic devices can stimulate your brain, which will keep you wide awake into the early hours of the morning. If you cannot avoid using electronic devices before bedtime, consider investing in a pair of blue light blocking glasses or dim your screen using Apple's "Night Shift" feature.
Avoid caffeine after lunch, which can contribute to restless sleep. The “Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine” published a study that shows that drinking caffeine six hours before bedtime can contribute to losing an hour of sleep.
Instead of having your body shocked into a time change, start to gradually go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, starting the week before daylight saving time.
If you feel tired, it may be that time of year where you need to nap to rejuvenate your body. However, it’s important to avoid sleeping in late in the morning and not take naps too close to bedtime, which will counter getting your body on a better nighttime routine. Daylight saving time can affect your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which can take a week or two to adjust fully.
Keeping a set sleep schedule for weekdays and weekends is essential too. If you significantly change your schedule between weekdays and weekends, it can negatively impact your sleep patterns.