Tick Tock Change the Clock: 5 Tips for Daylight Savings Sleep

On March 14th most of the country will “springing forward” for Daylight Savings Time (DST). Don’t lose sleep over losing sleep- just follow these five tips!

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

Losing an hour of sleep sounds daunting, especially as an adult who might already be missing out on sleep due to stress, children, or workload. According to the National Sleep Foundation, DST occurs to conserve natural light and has been observed since 1966.

Even though the country has been adjusting their clocks for over fifty years, the idea of change is stressful. The Sleep Foundation and National Institutes of Health recommend these sleep tips:

  1. Pay Attention to “Sleep Hygiene”
    Sleep hygiene refers to the habits surrounding your sleep health. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Don’t consume snacks or heavy meals before laying down. Additionally, avoid scrolling your phone, watching television, or working on your laptop while in bed.
  2. Be Consistent With Your Sleep Routine
    Aim for at least seven hours of sleep while going to bed and waking up at consistent times. Additionally, keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature and use low lights in the evening before bedtime.
  3. Gradually Adjust Your Bedtime
    In the days leading up to the time change, try waking up 15-20 minutes earlier than usually, timing the last adjustment for Sunday morning, March 14th.
  4. Get outside!
    As mentioned, DST occurs because of natural light. Pay attention to your circadian rhythms and expose yourself to some sunlight during the day. Exercise regularly and eat well, too.
  5. Reducing Napping- Especially in the Afternoon and Evening
    Try to limit naps to 20 minutes or less. Any long than that and you risk feeling groggy or negatively affecting your bedtime.

It’s easy and natural to dread Daylight Savings Time, but by applying these tips you can make the sleep shift easier on your body and brain. Look on the bright side- it’s lighter later and the days are warming up!

Please visit www.tchdnow.org or find them on Facebook for more information about the Tuscarawas County Health Department and their services.

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