The spring time change can affect people’s circadian rhythms and disrupt their regular sleep habits. In the spring, we turn the clock forward an hour, so if you normally go to bed at 10 PM, the new clock time would be 11. If you are shooting for 10 o’clock bedtime, it’s like going to bed at nine. This early bedtime is what most people find hard because they aren’t ready and they don’t feel tired enough to fall asleep.
Simple changes that can make the spring clock change easier:
Shift your clock gradually – Change your daily behavior a little each day to make adjusting easier!
Four days before the clock change—the evening of March 8—begin your evening routines 15 minutes earlier. So, eat dinner 15 minutes earlier and go to bed 15 minutes earlier. Then each day for the next three days move that daily routine shift 15 more minutes each day.
Integrating a 15-minute time shift for each day is negligible, so it’s easier to accomplish than the one-hour shift all at once. Simple? Of course! But it can make a difference especially for those sensitive to daylight savings changes.
Melatonin is a common sleep supplement. Here’s how it works:
Melatonin in your body is a hormone produced by your pineal gland. It helps your body and mind feel sleepy. Taking a melatonin supplement one hour before bedtime can help you feel sleepy sooner than you would have otherwise, so it can be helpful to take it starting four days before the clock change. Once you have adjusted to the new time, you can discontinue use of melatonin.
Research has shown that low doses of supplemental melatonin can support the brain in creating melatonin. Conversely, high doses flood the brain, weakening the brain’s ability to create melatonin. In a natural food store or online, look for melatonin in 1 mg tablets. All stores don’t carry the 1mg tablet, so plan ahead in case you need to order them
There are some simple daily changes you can make to improve the likelihood of a better night’s sleep. Take a look and see if you can adopt even a few.
The above tips are external changes that can make it easier to fall asleep earlier. Our program, Sleep Easily creates the inner mind and body changes, so you will fall asleep more easily during the time change or especially if you have deeper ongoing sleep problems.
This article originally appeared on the Sleep Easily Blog.