After the long, dark winter months, many of us will be looking forward to the clocks going forward to enjoy lighter mornings and evenings and longer daylight hours. The clocks changing also marks the start of British Summer Time (BST), bringing warmer weather, blooming flowers and the chance to spend more time outdoors.
This year the clocks will change at 1am on Sunday 31st March (Mother’s Day). In spring, we lose an hour, so 1am becomes 2am. Thankfully, most electronic devices such as smartphones and smartwatches will update automatically, whilst analogue clocks will need manual attention. Also requiring a few minor adjustments is your routine, as keeping your body clock ticking to its best rhythm is vital for happiness and wellbeing. With that in mind we’ve teamed up with Tempur UK to bring you these; our 7 IDEAL tips on how to adjust to the clocks going forward.
BLOCK OUT THE LIGHT
Light is one of the main cues that tells the brain and body that it’s wake up time. Therefore, longer daylight hours mean we’re more likely to feel tired later in the evenings and wake up earlier in the mornings. This can lead to a longer-term, cumulative loss of that all-important down time. To counter this, use blackout blinds and/or curtains in bedrooms to block out any pesky early morning light and ensure the best quality sleep possible.
Blocking out the light should also extend to keeping blue light use at bay before bed, which is perhaps the single most effective path to a better night’s rest. Countless studies have shown the link between your screen’s blue light and a difficulty in nodding off, as well as its hand in a disrupted, disruptive sleep pattern. Couple this with the fact that checking emails and social networking late at night will have your brain distracted and not properly prepared for some down time, and it’s clear that something’s got to give.
PRE-CLOCK CHANGE PREP: AN EXTRA 15 MINUTES
In the days leading up to the clocks going forward, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, so that by the time Saturday night arrives, you’ll be ready to go to bed a full hour earlier than usual and make up the lost hour. On a more holistic level, it’s a good idea to get your bedtime routine as streamlined and succinct as possible. We’ve written more about doing that effectively over here.
THE JET LAG RULE
Remember, the rule of thumb for jet lag is that one hour’s loss of sleep takes a day to recover from, and the same should apply when the clocks change. Go to bed earlier on Sunday evening and you should be right as rain for Monday morning.
KEEP IT COOL
For the best possible night’s sleep, keep your bedroom a little cooler than the rest of the house, an optimum being around 16-18°C. Your bedroom should mimic the good features of a cave; cool, dark and cosy. Choose cotton sheets and pyjamas that allow the body to breathe for a particularly comfy slumber.
WAKE UP, IT’S A BEAUTIFUL MORNING
During the spring and summer months, our 24-hour body clock can inevitably fall slightly out of sync and we can wake up prematurely compared to our usual rise. If you do find yourself opening your eyes earlier than usual, try not to worry about it too much and instead make the most of the day. Just focus on winding down and getting into bed a little earlier in the evenings to make up for the earlier starts so you don’t miss out on the overall number of hours needed to be at your best.
While having a big sleep at the weekend is generally discouraged as it disrupts a normal routine, most of us enjoy a little Sunday lay in from time to time, and an occasional extra 60 minutes in bed shouldn’t make a huge difference, so do enjoy it if you can. It is Sunday after all…!