Sleep Articles

Spring forward!

The clocks sprung forward by one hour on 31st March as Europe moves to summer time. Looking forward to long summer evenings? Feeling down in the mouth because your precious weekend will be one hour shorter? Whatever your perspective, here are our ideas for making the most of the change.

Don’t lose sleep over it
When you’re trying to cram friends, family, chores and socialising into two little days, one hour less of weekend can feel like a big loss. If you’re thinking about cutting an hour of sleep instead of an hour of activity, resist the temptation! The shortfall could leave you feeling groggy and grumpy1 and spoil the whole of Sunday.

Instead, split the difference: shave half an hour off your normal sleep schedule and skip half an hour of chores. Your quality of life won’t suffer too much from a half-hour sleep deficit. And your vacuum cleaner won’t notice your absence.

Don’t get the baby blues
If you have young children, you’re probably braced for a struggle. It’s bright outside, their body clock knows it’s early, and you’re asking them to go to bed when they’d much rather be playing. The internet2 is bursting3 with tips4 on helping your child to cope, but as with all things child-related, the answer lies with patience, flexibility, forward planning, and more patience.

Do your best to help them adapt gradually (and don’t feel guilty if you ‘accidentally’ put the clocks wrong to persuade them it’s time for bed). Accept that it’s going to take a few days or weeks for them to settle into their new routine. And, if you have a child who gets up horribly early in the morning, breathe a sigh of relief: you’ll have a few days of respite until they adapt.

Do make the most of the light

If your work or family commitments mean you have to get up early, you have our condolences: an extra hour of darkness in the mornings must be tough. If you’re an everyday commuter who works the nine to five, life just got a lot brighter.

Why not treat the ‘spring forward’ as a chance to reset your own clock? Dust off those New Year’s resolutions to do more exercise, eat more healthily, improve your sleep habits or see your friends more often and put them into action. With an hour more light in the evening, you’ll find it that much easier to go for a run after work, swap screen time for outside time, meet for a drink at a pavement cafe, or enjoy a salad for dinner instead of a heavy stew. Instead of hibernating at home, get a spring in your step, put a smile on your face, and get ready to enjoy the summer!

References:
1. http://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/2014/03/how-the-clocks-going-forward-affects-sleep/
2. http://www.parents.com/kids/sleep/tips/daylight-saving-time/
3. https://www.babysleepsite.com/tag/daylight-savings-time-spring-forward/
4. http://www.madeformums.com/school-and-family/how-to-manage-your-childs-sleep-routine-when-the-clocks-go-forward/26604.html

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