Spring forward: 6 ways to deal with losing an hour

A woman in the passenger seat of a car holds her hand up to her mouth while yawning. The sun is shining in. She is tired.

Soon, much of North America will be “springing forward” with the onset of daylight saving time, but “springing” probably isn’t the best term.

Stumbling sleepily into the sun might be a better description as people adjust to losing an hour of sleep in the name of more sunlight in the evenings.

Adjusting to that sleep deprivation can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help ease into it so you can enjoy those longer daylight hours with your eyes open.

Adjust your routine

A few days before springing forward, start going to bed and waking up 10-15 minutes earlier. Begin your evening wind-down routine earlier than usual to help your body adjust.

If you think you’ll lie awake restlessly with the earlier time, consider a supplement that supports sleep. Nutrilite™ Sleep Health contains the herb valerian, which helps you relax so you can fall asleep†.

A package of Nutrilite Sleep Health sits on a nightstand near a glass of water and an alarm clock.

Set an alarm for bed

It’s easy to miss an earlier bedtime when you’re binging the latest season of your favorite show. In addition to adjusting your morning alarm, set one to remind you of your earlier nighttime routine, too.  

Avoid light at bedtime

Darkness triggers your brain to release melatonin to help you sleep. Dim the lights 30-45 minutes before going to bed and make your bedroom cool, quiet and dark.

Shut off smartphones, TVs, laptops and tablets, or at least switch them to nighttime mode. That eliminates the artificial blue light from screens that can throw off your circadian rhythm.

Seek light in the mornings

When you get up, soak in some sunshine. Natural light affects your body’s circadian rhythm by decreasing the sleep-inducing melatonin chemical in your body.

Leave your blinds open on the night of the switch so the sun shines in. And if you have lights that can be set on a timer, turn them on earlier to help you adjust.

The hands of two people sitting across from each other at a table are shown, each holding a coffee cup.

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine and small amounts alcohol are stimulants that will affect your body’s natural sleep patterns. Try to not have any after 12 p.m. before the big day.

Move to Hawaii or Arizona

Yes, we saved the best for last. Both of these states stay on standard time year round. Moving to a different country could also avoid the change since only around 70 countries observe daylight saving.

Whatever you do, don’t spend a lot of time worrying. That’s going to make you anxious and it will be even more difficult to get to sleep. Besides, you can always look forward “falling back” later this year with the return of standard time.

†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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