Don’t sacrifice your snoozing when the clocks go forward this month on 31 March, according to The Sleep Council as it offers timely advice on how to prepare for the ‘lost hour’.
Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council said: “Many people struggle with losing an hour of sleep when British summertime begins and the clocks jump forward. Although it’s only 60 minutes, it can affect our body clocks which in turn affects our sleep patterns.
“For some people, it can take time to get back into a routine and that can impact on their energy levels, general wellbeing and even productivity at work.
“While it’s great that it’s no longer pitch black in the morning and early evenings, losing an hour of sleep is less than desirable.
“However, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you feel less groggy come Sunday morning, and refreshed and energised for Spring.”
If you’re someone who feels the effects of losing an hour’s sleep, try following The Sleep Council’s 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!
With a change of natural light patterns, keep the bedroom as dark as possible. Light suppresses secretion of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. So while it is important to expose yourself to natural light during the waking hours as much as possible, conversely, do not expose yourself to bright light when it is dark outside.
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 (i.e. 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 weekend to look at replacing it.
Try not to overindulge in caffeine, food and alcohol over the clock change weekend, as these all have a negative impact on sleep.
If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing such as reading a book until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.
The Sleep Council has lots more free tips and advice.
For more information visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk