Don’t lose sleep over the clocks going forward say The Sleep Council, as our ‘lost hour’ approaches on 26 March 2017.
“When British summertime begins and the clocks jump forward, many people find it hard to adjust to the time change because it can affect their body clocks, which in turn can affect our sleep,” said Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council.
“With Easter being later than last year – Good Friday falls on 14 April 2017 – we have to wait a little longer for the extra bank holiday weekend, which acts as an ideal recovery time for the lost hour.
“Although it is only an hour, it can take weeks for some people to get back into their routine and feel normal again. What’s more, a lot of people may be tempted to pack as much as possible into the clock change weekend and make up the lost hour, but you shouldn’t sacrifice on sleep. Our advice would be to cut back on chores rather than snores as it will do you far more good, and you can leap into spring feeling rested and energised!”
If you’re someone who feels the effects of losing an hour’s sleep, try following The Sleep Council tips to help yourself adapt:
• Move bedtime a little earlier, just by 10 minutes or so, in the days approaching the clocks going forward. It won’t seem too bad come Sunday when you lose those precious 60 minutes!
• Now that summer is nearly officially upon us, keep the bedroom as dark as possible. Light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. It is important to expose yourself to the light during the waking hours as much as possible, and conversely, do not expose yourself to bright light when it is dark outside.
• Although Easter is a little later this year (Easter Sunday is on 16 April 2017), this long weekend can act as an ideal recovery time, so stay in bed and sleep for as long as normal on Sunday morning and make the most of Easter Monday with an extra lie in.
• Practice good sleep hygiene. Create a sleep-friendly environment that enhances your chances of falling asleep, staying asleep and sleeping well. This includes a cool temperature (around 16-18 degrees) and eliminating distractions (ie banning mobiles, tablets etc in the hour before bed).
• It may sound simple, but make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old. If it’s older than seven years, maybe use the long weekend to look at replacing it.
• Try not to overindulge in chocolate, food and alcohol over the clock change weekend, as these all have a negative impact on sleep. If you’re tempted by all the chocolate Easter treats, reach for a milky hot chocolate before bed instead.
• If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.