What difference can an hour make?

It’s that time of year – time to spring forward and to set our clocks ahead one hour. Pushing an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening allows for long summer nights, but can also make for a sleepy Monday morning this coming workweek. Although the clock on your nightstand may have changed, your body’s internal clock may have not. Here are some tips to prepare for the time change without having to load up on an extra mug of java:

  • Take advantage of the weekend and begin adjusting your snoozing hours on Saturday or Sunday. Your sleep schedule is typically more flexible on the weekend so there’s no reason you have to wait til Monday to start acclimating to the new time.
  • Avoid long naps and opt for a power nap instead. Short, 20 minute naps tend to be more energizing than lengthy snooze fests.
  • Exercise early in the day to boost your energy and release serotonin. This will raise your heart rate in the morning so your body is more prepared for rest at nightfall.
  • Avoid sleep medications that can negatively impact the quality of sleep you’ll receive. Try to cue your body that it is bedtime by dimming the lights, reading a book and playing soft music.
  • Eat a light dinner an hour earlier than usual, avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks. This will help your body’s digestive cycle adjust so that you are comfortable when it is time to go to sleep.

No matter what method you decide to use to ensure you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed on Monday morning, don’t forget to “spring ahead” on March 10th!

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