This weekend we can officially call it: summer is coming. At 2am on Sunday, we’ll be switching our clocks forward an hour for daylight saving, bringing us that extra hour of daylight in the evenings (yeah!) but losing us an hour of sleep in the process (hmmm). Here’s our tips to coping with the time adjustment so those first few days aren’t such a strugfest:
1. Bring your bedtime and wake up time forward by 20 minute increments in the days leading up to daylight saving and for a few days afterwards. That way it won’t be such a big shock to the system when you suddenly go to bed much earlier than usual (and don’t even get us started on that new wake up time!)
2. Try and get up a bit earlier to have a 15-20 minute brisk walk in the natural sunlight. Getting a burst of natural light in the morning is one of the best ways to reset your circadian rhythm (also a useful tip for getting over jetlag) and managing to include any type of exercise during the day has the added bonus of helping you sleep better.
3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals right before bed. Your last meal should be at least 2-3 hours before you plan to hit the hay and you might wish to consider bringing your normal meal time forward by an hour for a few days beforehand.
4. Resist the urge to sleep in on the weekend – this really messes with your sleep cycle and will make the pain of Monday’s earlier call time all the more real.
5. Create a peaceful sleeping environment and attempt to wind down about an hour before you switch off the lights. Make sure the room is a good temperature (not too hot and not too cold); that you have a comfortable mattress and pillow and swap out your evening ritual of checking laptops, mobile phones or television for a long bath or shower, a book or listening to relaxing music.