While the official start of spring is still a few weeks away, Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday at 2 a.m. and turning our clocks ahead means one less precious hour of sleep.
Here’s how to help your body make the adjustment to the new light-dark cycle and how to make sure you get a good night’s sleep every night of the year.
Get up early this weekend and soak up some of that morning sun!
Getting outside early in the morning on Saturday and Sunday will help your brain’s sleep-wake cycle get in line with the time change. Grab the sunglasses and head out the door — sitting by a window doesn’t have the same benefits.
In general, sticking to a regular sleep schedule is a good thing. It may be tempting to sleep in on the weekends, but try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week.
Call it a day a little earlier this weekend
Help your body clock adjust by heading in early and not lingering outside in the late afternoon sun.
Sleep experts say you should also avoid exercising right before bed to help your body wind down, no more than 2-3 hours before you plan on going to sleep.
Chill out! (Physically and mentally)
Relaxing before bed should be part of your nighttime ritual and keeping the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side can help you sleep better.
Additionally, if you go to bed but are having trouble falling asleep, don’t just lie there. Get up and try to do something relaxing. The anxiety of not being able to fall asleep can make it harder to fall asleep.
The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Kids need more — young children should get 10 hours and teens at least nine. Babies sleep about 16 hours a day! That may sound like a lot, but sleep is important. Lack of sleep increases risk for obesity and heart disease and affects your hippocampus, the part of your brain associated with making new memories. When you’re sleep deprived, your ability to learn new tasks can decrease by as much as 40 percent.