The clocks go forward one hour at 1 am this Sunday (27th) as we head into British Summer Time (BST). The good news is that this means more daylight in the evenings, so those long summer nights are within touching distance.
However, there is a slight downside as we will lose an hour of precious sleep. So to help you out, Sleep Coach, Nicky Blakeman, gives her top tips for adjusting to the clock change so you don’t feel too tired next week.
1. No Sunday lie In
It’s more difficult to adjust your sleep when the clocks go forward compared to when they go back. This is because you can stagger your sleep by going to bed later when the clocks go back, but it’s very difficult to go to bed earlier when the clocks go forward if you’re not tired.
With this in mind, I would recommend resisting the temptation to have a Sunday lie in this week as it will make the adjustment even harder. Instead, try focusing on getting up an hour earlier than you usually would. This will be a lot easier if you gradually set your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day for a few days prior to the clock change on Sunday night. This means that by the time Monday morning comes around, you will be used to getting up a bit earlier each day and it will be a lot easier to adjust.
2. Let there be light
When you wake up on Monday morning, try to get some light exposure as soon as you can. Sunlight signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up and sets your body clock for the day which helps to prevent some of that morning grogginess. Light suppresses melatonin secretion, which wakes the body up and helps your brain adjust to the earlier start time. Try to avoid lying in bed and drifting in and out of sleep after you wake up. This can be particularly tempting if you’re working from home, but snoozing in the dark will only make you feel more tired. Instead, encourage yourself to get straight up and open the curtains as soon as your alarm goes off!
3. Keep a regular bedtime after the change
Once the clocks change, take the opportunity, if you’re not already, to set a regular bedtime and wake up time. Do your best to make sure you’re going to bed and getting up at the same time each day next week so your body can get into a good routine. This will help to ensure your brain knows the right time to release the hormones melatonin and cortisol to help you sleep at night and then feel alert in the morning.