You may want to consider doing more than just moving your clock forward on Sunday. Our expert in sleep medicine has some tips to help you cope with losing an hour of sleep.
“In the spring when we lose an hour, essentially what happens is people who are already sleep deprived are going to be an hour more so, and it will exacerbate any problems they’re already having,” said Dr. Philip Alapat, assistant professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and medical director of the BCM Sleep Center.
He said the best way to adjust to the time change is to create a sleep schedule that ensures approximately 7.5-8 hours of sleep each night for adults and between 9-11 hours for children.
However, if that isn’t in the cards, Alapat said you could help prepare for the time change 15 minutes each day.
“As a rough guide, you can lessen the impact of Daylight Saving Time by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each day, prior to Sunday,” Alapat said. “It’s surprising how well it works, actually. Most people find 15 minutes each day more manageable.”
In addition to trying to go to bed 15 minutes early each night, Alapat offers these four tips when it comes to helping kids with the time change:
- Explain why you’re changing bedtime
- Try to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time
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