How to Get Your Sleep Back on Track When the Clocks go Back - Expert Tips

Posted by Jake Cottrill on

The clocks go back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) this Sunday which means people across the UK get an extra hour in bed as a Halloween treat. 

And according to our resident sleep expert, Nicky Blakeman, the clock change is also a great time to address an existing sleep problem. 

So whether you have an existing sleep issue, you struggle to adjust when the clocks change, or you've just been finding it hard to drift off recently, here are Nicky's top tips for getting your sleep back on track when the clocks go back.

  1. Gradually stagger your sleep before the change

Although many people will be glad of the extra hour in bed, for some it can be difficult for your body to adjust to falling asleep and waking up later. If you usually struggle when the clocks change, try gradually staggering your bedtime by 3-5 minutes over a few days so the change doesn’t feel as big. 

  1. 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 so your body can get into a good routine as it knows the right time to release melatonin to help you sleep at night and then cortisol to help you feel alert in the morning.

  1. Embrace the darker evenings

In the summer, many of us go to bed later as we’re still out in the garden making the most of the lighter evenings or socialising with friends. In contrast, winter is actually a good time to address a sleep issue because your brain relishes darkness in the evening to prepare for sleep. Use the winter as a time to slow down and get your sleep back on track - keep the lights dim, light some candles and get snuggly!

  1. Recreate the sunrise 

For some, waking up and getting out of bed when it’s still dark during winter mornings can be difficult and leave you feeling groggy. Even when your eyes are shut, your brain detects the light through closed eyelids which helps to wake you up in the morning, so, to help, you can find lamps that artificially replace the light to slowly recreate a sunrise.

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