It’s that time again. It’s time to throw a monkey wrench into your body’s rhythm by messing with your sleep cycle just to jump to the hands on the clock. While you may gain an hour the first day, what you’ll lose is an hour of daylight in the end. So, before we have to deal with a full case of Cabin Fever, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston offers up these tips to cope with the time change:
- Stay away from caffeine and other stimulants, especially during the days before and after the time shift, and avoid napping for a few days because it can disrupt your sleeping at night.
- Sleep through that extra hour if you can instead of trying to get things done.
- Don't drive if you feel sleepy because of the time shift. Consider taking public transportation for a few days to give your body time to adjust.
- Relax, avoid stress and remember to take your regular medications over the weekend of the time change.
For those who have trouble sleeping overall, try the following:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same times, even on weekends. No sleeping in.
- Avoid food and drinks with caffeine after lunch, including coffee, tea, soda and chocolate.
- Take 15 to 30 minutes to wind down before heading off to bed.
- Keep your room dark, quiet and cool; ear plugs and eye masks can help.
- Keep in mind that time in front of screens -- the computer or television varieties -- before bedtime can disrupt sleep.
- Don't work or study right before bedtime, in order to allow yourself to relax.
- Don't exercise strenuously right before bedtime.
Learn more at the National Sleep Foundation.