When you try as hard as we do to maintain a set sleep schedule, it can be hard to adjust when daylight savings rolls around. While it is easy to adjust our alarm clocks, it is not always so easy adjusting our internal clocks. Which can cause us to wake up too early or go to bed too late. However, all hope is not lost. You will find some sleep soon and we will share our tips and tricks on how you can adjust your sleep during daylight savings to get back on schedule a bit faster. But first, a few reminders of how this whole Day Lights Savings thing works.
Daylight Savings in Spring – AKA Spring Forward!
When does it happen?
- The 2nd Sunday in March, at 2AM.
More or Less Sleep?
- 1 Hour Less (23 Hour Day)
More or Less Sunlight?
- The entire concept behind daylight savings is to adjust to the changing seasons and make the most time out of the sunlight we get in the day. However, sometimes this can feel a little backwards. Depending on where you live, you may initially experience dark mornings in the springtime when you rise earlier. But, the idea is to get the majority of sunlight throughout the day as a whole so you are not going to sleep while it is still light out. This would be more obvious in the summer time if we didn’t set our clocks forward in the spring time.
Daylight Savings in Fall – AKA Fall Back!
When does it happen?
- The 1st Sunday in November, at 2am.
More or Less Sleep?
- 1 Hour More (25 Hour Day)
More or Less Sunlight?
- Again, the idea is to maximize the amount of daylight we get. Since you will technically be waking up an hour later than you did yesterday, it will likely be brighter out by the time you get up. This should hopefully make it easier to wake up in the morning. In general terms it is easier to adjust your sleep routine in the fall. Since you have an added hour to your day, instead of one taken away.
Tips for adjusting your sleep schedule:
There is no doubt that you’ll need to adjust your sleep during daylight savings. Below we have several tips to help you get your sleep schedule back on track. Giving you a head start on making sure you get proper rest without skipping a beat.
– Starting Adjusting Early
Instead of waiting to adjust your sleep schedule in one big chunk, try adjusting it bit by bit instead. By adjusting your routine by just ten minutes each morning you’ll be back on track in less than a week.
This is most helpful during the Spring when you will feel the affects of waking up earlier. By simply starting a little early, you will be able to adjust your sleep routine before daylights savings forces you. Giving you a jump start on mother nature.
– Adjust Caffeine
Even without the quick shift in our sleep schedule most of us rely on our morning cup of java to kick start our day. While this can be helpful trying to adjust in the aftermath of day light savings, it can be helpful to adjust your caffeine intake the week before too.
Caffeine stays active in your system for nearly 6 hours. One way to get ready for the upcoming adjustment in sleep is to adjust your caffeine intake before you have to go to bed early. By making sure you don’t drink coffee too late in the day you have a better chance of falling asleep earlier to get up a bit earlier too.
– Light Alarm Clocks
It seems a bit ironic to need lights to help you adjust to daylight savings. But we promise a light alarm clock will help to make the switch. Especially in the springtime when you will be waking up with a little less daylight than usual. As well as in the dead of winter when it seems like morning will never come.
An alarm clock that uses light will help you adjust your circadian rhythm to align with your new schedule. And it does so in a way that is much more soothing and pleasant than a standard alarm clock. We highly suggest looking at the the Philips Go Lights to add the perfect innovative and useful alarm out there.
– Avoid Naps
When you’re trying to adjust to a new sleep schedule, napping can really throw you off your game. Since your internal clock is already thrown off, you might accidentally fall into a deep REM sleep cycle instead of catching a quick rest.
Not only that, but you can feel more awake when you should be going to sleep. This can even further confuse your internal clock, making it even more difficult to align your circadian rhythm with the new day lights saving time.
– Create a Nightly Routine
If you don’t have one already, you should definitely create one. By having a set routine that you do every night before bed, in time these actions will then become triggers for sleep hormone production. Whether it is as simple as brushing your teeth, washing your face, and then getting into bed to read a book. Or if you enjoy yoga, mediation, and journaling, it particularly matter what you do as long as it is calming.
Try to keep it as consistent as you can and do it at the same time every night. Then, when daylight savings comes around, move your nightly routine forward or back an hour in order to adjust when you’re going to sleep. It might take a little while to adjust but keeping the routine the same should be helpful.
– Take Melatonin
One of the key factors causing your day light savings jet lag is that your circadian rhythm has not aligned with the new schedule yet. Which is why taking melatonin can help during the transition. Since your body isn’t yet producing melatonin as the new bedtime, a supplement can help you make this adjustment and get some much needed sleep.
Learn more about the pros, cons and how to best use melatonin in our Guide to Melatonin for Sleep.
– Always Give Yourself That Time
If you never want to adjust your sleeping schedule to daylight savings, you technically don’t have to. The only requirement really, is to be an early riser. If you always wait until the very last moment possible to wake up in the morning. Then this won’t really work for you.
However, if you wake up with several hours to spare every morning. Then you can get away with keep your same sleeping schedule everyday. The only consequence is that depending on which season you’re in you will have one hour less or one more in the mornings before work.
Get Your Sleep During Daylight Savings:
It tends to be easier for most people to adjust to the fall schedule than the spring schedule. However, if you are naturally an early riser, you may find yourself accidentally waking up earlier than you need to in the mornings. While your body will naturally adjust in time to the new schedule, we hope these tips make that adjustment go a little bit faster.
If you want to learn more about creating nightly routines and adjusting sleep schedules check out our article How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule.