How to Survive Daylight Saving Time-Induced Sleep Deprivation

posted: 03/11/16
by: Courtney Reimer
picture of woman suffering from sleep deprivation

Every year as "spring forward" time approaches, it's a bittersweet feeling: on the one hand, we get more daylight. On the other hand, less sleep (at least for that first night). And it can be surprisingly debilitating. Who knew one lost hour of sleep could do such a number on the body (and mind, for that matter)?

To adjust to the shift, experts recommend you do the following:

1. Plan in advance. To soften the blow of one lost hour all at once, start shifting your bedtime (and your kids' bedtimes, for that matter) back by 15-20 minutes for several days leading up to spring-forward time.

2. Let the sun shine in. As those of you who've suffered from jet lag know, the best cure for sleepiness can be a little sunshine (or at least daylight). So rather than drawing the curtains closed, open them wide and let the light embrace your face.

3. Block out light at bedtime. And that includes digital light. As we've said, the glow of your small-screen devices can be enough to tell the brain it's time to be awake, so don't make it difficult to go to sleep the night before -- stow your phones and tablets well before you crawl into bed.

4. Exercise. If you didn't already need a reason to break a sweat, consider this: the more you exercise, the easier it will be to fall asleep and rest easy. Tire yourself out and reap the benefits of some great shut-eye.'

In short, a little planning and preparation goes a long way toward softening the blow of this weekend's time change. Start now and thank us later.