Your body works to constantly coordinate it's "biologic clock" with the outside world. When the time changes, you are suddenly "out of sync" with the world. Here are a few tips to help re-synchronize your biologic clock as we approach the start of Daylight Savings Time:
- See the light - try to get exposure to early morning natural light soon after awakening. Light is the most important signal to your brain that it is time to be alert and start your day. Early morning light exposure, particularly during this next week, will speed your adaptation to the new time.
- Beginning today, try to go to sleep 15-30 min earlier and wake up 15-30 min earlier in the morning. This will allow you to more gradually adjust to the new time.
- Shift meal times toward the new time schedule. For example, if you normally eat dinner at 6 pm, consider shifting diner time on Thursday, Friday andSaturday to 5:30. That way, once the time has switched you will only be 30 minutes off your usual schedule instead of one hour. Meal times are another important clue the body uses to "set" the biologic clock.
- Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible during this adaptation period. Both alcohol and caffeine interrupt sleep and further sleep deprive you at a time when you are already losing an hour of valuable sleep.
- Drive carefully. Traffic accidents go up around daylight savings time as people deal with the lack of sleep!