Up your time-change game
March 10, 2023—For most of the country, daylight saving time officially begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March.
Of course, those extra sunlit hours in the evening are a welcome change. But the sudden switchover can mess with your sleep-wake cycle for days, leaving you groggy and less alert. This advice from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Foundation can help to make the switch a little easier on your body.
Don't wait until Sunday
Don't wait for the clocks to change. Turn in a bit early on Friday and Saturday nights. Reset your morning alarm to match. Adjusting your schedule by a few minutes each day may make the transition less jarring. And you won't have to spring forward while sleep-deprived.
Change your clocks early Saturday evening. Don't wait until you're ready for bed.
Tuck in early enough to get a full night's rest. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Check out this infographic to see sleep recommendations for the whole family.
Catch the morning light. When you wake up Sunday, head outdoors for a few minutes. The bright morning light will help reset your internal clock, making you feel more alert.
Keep your Sunday bedtime. Don't make up for that lost hour by staying up late. Now's not the time to skimp on slumber. You'll need another solid rest to be fresh on Monday.
Keep a good thing going
The daylight saving switchover isn't the only time when a good night's rest is best. To improve your snooze throughout the year, try these tips, courtesy of the AASM:
Stick to a schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day—even on weekends.
Keep your bedroom distraction-free. When you head off to bed, don't take your laptop, smartphone or work with you.
Start a soothing bedtime ritual. Lower the lights, and try winding down with soft music or a warm bath.
Create a comfy sleep zone. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, cool and comfortable.
Don't stare at the alarm clock. If you can't sleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing in another room until you feel sleepy.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine Sleep Education. "Daylight Saving Time." https://sleepeducation.org/resources/daylight-saving-time.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine Sleep Education. "Healthy Sleep Habits." https://sleepeducation.org/healthy-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Daylight Saving Time Rules."https://www.nist.gov/pml/time-and-frequency-division/popular-links/daylight-saving-time-dst.
- Sleep Foundation. "Daylight Saving Time." https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/daylight-saving-time.
- Sleep Foundation. "How to Prepare for the Start and End of Daylight Saving Time." https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/how-to-prepare-for-daylight-saving-time.