People often panic when the clocks go forward, and worry that losing that one precious hour will affect their sleeping pattern.
In reality, the change is very unlikely to affect you in the long term, so the best thing to do is to try and not overthink it too much and simply let your body guide you. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure the transition is smooth, and you can continue going to sleep at your usual bedtime.
Top tips to tackle the clocks going forward.
- Start by preparing a few days early, so that the body gets used to the change in time
- Adjust your normal sleep time by 15 minutes over the course of a few days so you have already made a start on the alteration
- On Saturday night make sure you go to bed relaxed – the more we worry about and overthink sleep the worse it is likely to be
Change in light
- Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the body’s internal circadian clock. It increases in the evening when it becomes dark, so it helps induce sleep
- With the clocks changing and the night’s becoming lighter, it is even more important to make sure you go to sleep in a room with minimal light, and try to avoid smartphones and laptops one hour before bedtime as they can inhibit the production of melatonin
- Even if you feel affected from the loss of sleep, it is important to still avoid naps as this can reduce your chances of sleeping well at nighttime.
- If you have to nap make it short i.e. not more than 20 minutes
- The clocks changing may make you feel hungry at different times. However, a heavy meal just before sleeping may interfere with your sleep as your body is busy digesting
- Make sure you continue to have dinner at your regular time, allowing plenty of time to digest
Still can’t sleep?
- If you find you can’t sleep after the clocks going forward, the best thing to do is to simply leave the bedroom
- Staying in bed and becoming frustrated will mean that it not only takes longer to fall asleep but it will also create a negative connection with your bed
- Go downstairs and read a book or watch TV until you feel sleepy and then return to bed when you feel sleepy again.