Daylight Saving Time is the beacon of hope we so desperately need after a winter full of excess cold, snow and ice. It means it gets darker later, spring is in the air, and warmer weather is on the horizon. But it also means we lose an hour of precious sleep this weekend. The hits just keep on coming!
In all seriousness, losing one hour of sleep isn’t going to ruin our year, but it could ruin our precious weekend—and who wants that? So here are five tips for coming out of the weekend bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for that Monday morning meeting.
Stay Within Your Routine
As hard as it is to resist, you shouldn’t use Daylight Savings as an excuse to stay up late or sleep in. Altering your sleep schedule will leave you feeling groggy and “off” when you should be feeling your best. Instead, go to bed and wake up at your normal time, and spend that extra hour doing something you love! No, not sleeping—something else!
Skip the Long Nap
Our natural instinct when we don’t get enough sleep is to take a nap. But beware: if you take a long afternoon nap, you may not be able to fall asleep that night. Instead, try taking a short nap—no longer than 20 minutes. These types of “power naps” are known to alleviate sleep deficits, while allowing you to maintain your alertness and energy throughout the day.
Go on a Walk
Not only is exercise good for your physical well-being, it’s good for your sleep schedule, too! Whether you’re going on a walk, playing a sport, or participating in group fitness, exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deeper. Just make sure you don’t exercise too late into the night, as all that energy can keep you up well past your bedtime.
Beware of Before-Bed Snacks
It’s always important to be conscious of what you consume before it’s time for bed. Alcohol and drinks that contain caffeine—coffee, soda, teas, etc.—should be avoided up to four hours before sleeping to prevent restlessness. Eating heavy meals, especially those that are spicy or fatty, can also negatively affect sleeping habits. If you can’t resist a bedtime snack, stick with something small and light.
Get to Bed Sunday Night
Sunday night is your chance to catch up on that lost hour of sleep. When it’s time to hit the hay, make sure you room is quiet, dark, and rid of all distractions. That means shut off the TV, power down the phone, and allow yourself to drift off into a deep, peaceful sleep.
And remember, while you may be losing an hour this spring, just think of all the hours Amwell has given back to you this year!