Iowa Sleep Blog

5 Ways to Help You Adjust After Daylight Saving – Part 1

Monday, March 10, 2014

We’re more than ready to spring forward—particularly after this winter’s weather—but we just had one hour of sleep stolen from us on Sunday (March 9) due to daylight saving time.

It’s like the sleep fairy took a vacation and the Grinch slipped in. That hour is gone. And now, we need to get the sleep back. Just like a regular clock, our bodies’ internal clocks need to be reset.

In a survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council this February, 61% of U.S. adults say they feel the effects of daylight savings time the Monday after resetting their clocks, and 39% reported that daylight savings time affects their mood. Additionally, 29% of U.S. adults say it takes a full week to get back to normal after moving their clocks forward an hour.

To help you cope, Dr. Steven Zorn, founder of Iowa Sleep, provides five tips to help you get your sleep cycle back on track.

  1. Maintain sleep patterns. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning to train your body to follow a consistent sleep/wake rhythm.
  2. Eliminate deficits. Since your body accumulates a sleep debt, you’ll want to be sure not to miss sleep too often.
  3. Make it dim. Light—including from computers and SmartPhones—suppresses the secretion of a substance released in the brain that makes you tired. Dim the lights earlier for better shut eye.
  4. Keep it calm. Strong emotions stimulate us awake. Take it easy before bed. If exercising helps, do so four to six hours before bedtime; that will burn away pent-up energy and lead to better rest.
  5.  Avoid food and drink. Eating large meals and drinking alcohol will affect your sleep cycle, unless you don’t mind digestion-related sleep interruptions or waking up frequently.

If you follow these simple tips, you should feel caught up before the end of the week. We’ll take a deeper look at these five tips in part 2 of this blog, so stay tuned.

And while you’re at it, what tricks do you use to stay rested after daylight savings? Please comment below.