If you haven't changed the clock yet - WAKE UP and get to turning back some digits! But more importantly, Dr. Baharav, sleep specialist for more than 20 years and founder of SleepRate.com, offers advice on how to handle the hour difference in turning back the clock.
Q: What is the best way to prepare for day light savings?
A: One simple way to prepare for DST - try going to bed an hour later, a few days before the change.
Q: What are some of the things that happen to the body during this time switch?
A: "Falling back": one gets the payback of the hour lost in spring, yet very few take advantage of the extra hour and sleep. It is counter intuitive, yet the additional hour does not necessarily increase the total sleep time. Sleep efficiency decreases, sleep may become restless, daytime sleepiness can increase and there is documented increase in accident rates. The rest-activity cycle is disrupted and those who are early risers (larks) have trouble adjusting because they have the tendency to wake up early and are the usually the most affected.
Q: How can we get a better sound sleep?
A: To help sync the internal clock faster for better sleep, avoid bright light at night even when going to the bathroom, use a preinstalled dim night light, use blinds to avoid bright light in the morning and be exposed to as much outside light, as possible. Light is the main cue that helps to entrain our clock.
Q: Additional notes for parents.
A: Parents of young children are also affected since the baby or toddler who is used to waking up at 7am, now wakes at 6 am. To avoid sudden changes in the schedule of young children, it is advised to switch gradually and in advance (ten minutes or so earlier bed time and shorter naps) so when DST arrives, bed and wake time fit the change.
Q: Best advice yet?
A: Cat naps can help during the day or simple stretches that calm the mind and realign the body.