This Sunday the 27th March 1am will become 2am, and unless you set your alarm on a Sunday that means you’ll be surviving Monday on an hour less sleep.
Moving your clock in any direction, due to daylight-saving or travel, messes with your circadian rhythm or principle time cue – light. This causes your internal clock to get out of sync with your day-night cycle.
If you’re regularly getting between 7 and 8 hours sleep per night and go to bed a little earlier than usual on the Sunday night you may well wake up feeling refreshed. If you’re already sleep deprived, surviving on 6 hours nightly, you are more likely to struggle.
A quick way to help yourself on Sunday the 27th would be to avoid caffeine after 5pm, and not drink any alcohol as alcohol tends to disrupt sleep. In general you should clean up your sleep hygiene. Basic sleep hygiene includes creating calming rituals before bed that will help you to gradually relax. This includes turning off electronic screens, dimming the lights, and generally relaxing before you hit the pillow.
The general rule for adjustment is that for every one hour of shift you should allow one day to adjust.
Despite this rule studies show an increase in both heart attacks and road accidents in the days after the clocks move forward in Spring. As if to confirm this, the number of heart attacks decrease by a similar amount when the clocks are set back in the autumn. Road traffic accidents also increase on the Monday following the spring shift, with tired drivers being the main cause.
Here are some simple ways you can prepare for the change:
- Set your alarm a little earlier than usual on the Friday and Saturday before the shift. This will make it easier to get out of bed on Monday morning.
- Eat breakfast on Monday 28th, as food tells your body it’s the start of the day.
- Help your child to adjust by changing bedtime to a little bit earlier the week before the time change.
Sleep is important, it’s the time when the majority of your memory consolidation and cell rejuvenation occurs. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep throughout the year our babylon doctors are available in minutes wherever you are, and they are happy to offer help, support, and advice.