Springing forward: Tips for managing the daylight savings time change

This weekend we are springing forward and ‘losing’ an hour of sleep.

Adjusting to a one-hour time change shouldn’t take more than a day or so for a regularly well-rested person. But, since studies show that as a society we are already sleep deprived, an hour of our time in bed is not really a sacrifice many of us can afford to make. Those who routinely sleep six hours a night, have very early wake up times for work (6:00 AM or earlier), and teenagers already battling their biological tendency to sleep late will be hardest hit by this weekend’s time change.

While there’s no quick magic solution for adjusting to this time change, there are a few things you can do to make sure the effects of this circadian disruption are minimized by Monday morning:

  • Start early! Adjust your bedtime by 15 minutes starting Thursday night.
  • Set all your clocks forward one hour early Saturday evening, then have dinner and go to bed based on those clocks.
  • Avoid incurring any or additional sleep debt caused by staying up late on the weekend.
  • Wake up on Sunday morning, get some exercise, and get outside early in the day for some daylight exposure.
  • On Sunday evening, dim the lights and close the blinds to send signals to your brain that night time is coming. Grab a warm shower before bed and relax with a book (don’t stare at your TV or mobile device) or listen to music or podcast.

For those who have a harder time with the adjustment, keep up with the above tips for a few days and:

  • Be cautious about performing any safety sensitive work and while driving or cycling
  • Even if you don’t do dangerous work, fatigue may affect your cognitive ability – be extra diligent in your work projects and decision making

If you prioritize getting adjusted quickly, the effects of the time change should be short lived. In the meantime, grab that extra cup of coffee on Monday – but be sure to cut it out after noon – you don’t want any caffeine running through your system when you are trying to fall asleep a little earlier than you are used to.

RELATED POSTS

,

How Drivers Can Get Better Sleep and Prevent Fatigue

Sleep deprivation affects all aspects of life—appetite, strength, emotional stability, and memory. On the road, it’s more than a distraction. It can mean the difference between life and death. Drowsy drivers come from all occupations and walks of life. It’s a threat everyone faces at one time or another. You’re driving home from work after putting in extra hours or a child kept you up during the night and your eyes just won’t stay open. The reasons vary but the results are the same—dangerous driving.
,

Rest and Relaxation- The First Step for Poor Sleepers 

One important job as a performance coach in sports is to balance both the training and recovery with our players. Currently, I am an NHL strength and conditioning coach for the St. Louis Blues, but my role extends beyond the weight room and hockey rink. Sleep is a major component of recovery, and supporting a good night’s rest is everything in sport. Our athletes are perpetually exploring ways of sustaining elite performances. Sleep is arguably the best method available to do so. With endless stressors, high-pressure scenarios, and chaotic travel schedules, it can be difficult to find the off switch when the time comes for sleep. In this article, I share my some personal "bio hacks" for resting more effectively. I also explain why we need to consider more effective strategies for rest, with the ultimate goal of setting ourselves up for higher quality sleep.
,

Correlation between risk and fatigue in the workplace

In the same way that machines need regular maintenance to continue at peak capacity, a human workforce needs restful sleep to do their best work. However, fatigue from a lack of sleep contributes to more than just poor work. A worker experiencing fatigue in their workplace presents a risk to themselves and their colleagues.