Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 12 at 2 a.m., a mere two days from now.
Here’s how to prepare yourself for the jump forward and feel less fatigued when you wake up on Sunday morning.
Go to bed earlier in the preceding days
It’s no secret that going to bed earlier can make waking up the next morning easier, and give you more energy throughout the day. Because we lose an hour on Sunday, you will likely wake up feeling a bit less refreshed and a little off.
In order to combat this, you’d do well to move your bedtime an hour earlier to compensate for the hour less of sleep.
According to CNN, children are usually able to adjust to time changes faster than adults, and may only need small changes in their sleep schedules to prepare.
There is no one-size-fits-all cure, though, and everyone will likely respond slightly differently to the time change. Adjust your sleep schedule accordingly.
Create an enjoyable bedtime routine
Some of us need some coaxing into winding down, and others look forward to it. Regardless of which group you belong to, in order to get to bed earlier you need to make the process enjoyable.
Experts recommend avoiding blue light in the hours approaching sleep and doing things that make you feel calm, per BetterUp. Excess screen use can make it more difficult to fall asleep due to the blue light’s ability to suppress melatonin, the hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep.
To play devil’s advocate, watching a movie or TV show that relaxes you could also help you wind down. A considerable part of being able to fall asleep for so many is our anxiety levels. If reading or another screenless activity isn’t enough, there’s no shame in a little more blue light if it means you’ll feel calmer.
Afterwards, perhaps you’ll find that your skin care routine or a bit of writing will help ease that transition from screen to bed.
Maybe throw a cup of herbal tea or a hot chocolate into the mix to really kickstart relaxation.
Plan around light
According to NPR, light is one of our body’s main signals to either wake up or go to sleep. At night this manifests as bright lights in your home, whether that be your lamps and room lighting or the blue light from your screens.
As previously mentioned sometimes you can’t do much to limit the blue light exposure, but you can dim your other lights.
Cutting out the lights may mean using a lamp with less harsh lighting, or it may mean using a dimmer to lower your lights. Another popular way to approach this strategy is to get specific lights that you can hang in your “wind-down” area.
Sometimes, dim colored lights can help, while also making it a bit more fun than a regular yellow lamp light.
In the mornings, taking advantage of the light can mean opening your curtains or blinds as soon as you wake up. Bright light soon after waking can help your body kick-start its own waking process, thereby leaving you less groggy.
Doing this in the days leading up to and immediately following the change to daylight saving time may help you ease into the transition more smoothly.