“Losing an hour of sleep is difficult for most people and for anyone who dreads springing forward, it might feel more like stumbling sideways into this time of year,” says Sharon Petersen, RN, MHA, Director of Employee Health at Intermountain Healthcare.
If your goal this upcoming daylight savings is to plan for more time on the pillow, follow these tips to make the transition as smooth as possible. Remember, incremental changes are the key to adjusting the human sleep schedule
Tips for a successful bed-time transition
- Set your alarm clock ahead by 15 minutes a day and go to bed a little earlier for five days
- Don’t consume caffeine or alcohol before bedtime because they interfere with sleep
- Make sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep each night
- Light is the principal environmental cue to wake up, so switch a light on when it’s time to get up
How many hours of sleep do you need?
Sleep experts say the average adult needs seven to eight hours per night of sleep. So, do you just choose a number that’s convenient and stick to it? Not exactly. The fact is you may actually need as much as 10 hours of sleep, if you’re an active adult.
It’s important to pay attention to your body—give yourself an honest assessment. Read the following statements and ask—do any of them ring true to me?
- I have a difficult time concentrating.
- It’s often hard to remembering things and I feel “spacey”.
- I don’t have the energy for my hobbies right now.
- I often feel drowsy when driving or riding the bus/train.
- I frequently nod off during the day.
- I’m getting behind on my bills or making other mistakes with my finances.
- I need coffee in the morning or an afternoon coke to make it through the day.
If you said yes to any of these questions then you might need more or better sleep. If you are already sleeping 10 hours and you’re still feeling fatigued, you could be sleeping too much. If you’ve tried everything and you never wake up refreshed, you could have something else compromising the quality of your sleep. Seek help from a professional expert to sort out your sleep woes.