How to adjust to daylight savings easily, according to a sleep expert

Must See 05/04/2019

While it marks the sad end to a beautiful summer, and our long sunny evenings are getting cut short, at least daylight savings means we get an extra hour of sleep this weekend!

The clock goes back one hour at 3am on Sunday 7th April, and while you get an extra hour of sleep, it can really mess with your circadian rhythm. 

According to The Sleep Coach, Cheryl Fingleson, it can take your body up to a week to adjust to the change. But don't worry - she's here to give some handy tips on how to make the transition easier:

Eliminate caffeine
Yes, we know it's not something you want to hear, but Cheryl recommends you ditch the caffeine in the upcoming week because it increases sleep fragmentation. 

If you don't think you can handle going cold turkey, at least try to cut back on the coffees for a couple of days before and after the change - you'll thank yourself when you sleep soundly that night. 

Turn off the devices
We've heard it before, but that doesn't make it any less true - blue light from your electronic screens like your phone, laptop and TV have been found to reduce the body's evening production of melatonin (a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle). 

The blue light tricks your body into think it's day time, so to help your body unwind, switch off your devices for at least one hour before bed time. Doing this for a few days before and after the time shift will help you adjust more easily.

Avoid naps
"In that awkward daylight-savings adjustment period, taking naps may actually leave you more disorientated," Cheryl says.

Try your best to avoid the afternoon naps, and instead go to bed at a normal time so you don't confuse your body further while it's trying to adjust to the new time. 

Fuel your body
Cheryl says eating well and having regular meals is another key to a healthy sleep schedule: "There are many great ways to encourage your body to relax and reset. Healthy, regular meals are a great balancer."