Don't lose sleep when the clocks change - adjust to the new time zone in 3 simple steps
The clocks spring forward on Sunday, March 25 at 1am.
Although we welcome the longer, brighter days, the lost hour can hit hard in an already sleep deprived 24/7 lifestyle.
And not quite adjusted to the new earlier bedtime, many of us turn up to work on Monday feeling tired and groggy.
In fact, the adjustment forward is always more difficult than at autumn when we gain an extra hour.
“This is because it is hard to make yourself tired earlier,” says sleep expert Dave Gibson, founder of thesleepsite.co.uk.
“The key is to ease yourself through the clocks change using this simple three-step time increment routine so you wake up, fully adjusted, in the new time zone on Sunday morning.
1) “Thursday - Stop all caffeine Thursday afternoon, this restriction will allow you to sleep better that evening and set up a more relaxed start to Friday.
2) “Friday - Go without caffeine all day. This will make it easier to get to sleep ½ an hour earlier on Friday evening. Valerian, a herb which is proven to help make you feel tired in either T-Bag, Tincture, or capsule form, will also help. Take it about 30-45 minutes before your planned bedtime. Or take Camomile tea as a substitute.
3) “Saturday - You have now adjusted to a time zone that is half an hour earlier than your norm. Adjust all your meals ½ hour earlier, too. Shift your bedtime another ½ hour earlier on Saturday evening so you are now one whole hour forward. Again take Valerian to make yourself sleepier or if you can’t because of medical reasons then try taking a warm bath with Lavender or use drops on your pillow. Also, try a short meditation before bed.
“On Sunday morning you can wake up refreshed, as you will be in the new time zone without losing any sleep.
“All your mealtimes will also naturally fall into place, and you have no need to worry about whether you can manage to get to bed on time Sunday night as you will already be in sync with British Summer Time.
“Use this period and technique to adopt a new sleep regime, moving your bedtime to one where you can wake up refreshed every day without the use of an alarm. Ultimately, ditching the alarm clock is the fail-safe way of making sure you are getting enough sleep so you can be alert and focused throughout the day.”