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Maximize Your Zzzs: Expert Tips to Help You Spring Forward

Consider this your official permission to power nap.

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spring forward

Ready to spring forward? March not only ushers in the much-anticipated advent of spring but it’s also Sleep Awareness Month and Daylight Savings Time. It’s the perfect time to elevate the importance of sleep, a fundamental pillar of our well-being.

This month, let’s take a moment to appreciate the profound impact that quality sleep has on our overall health. While the impending shift to Daylight Savings Time might seem daunting, let’s not dwell on the loss of an hour. Instead, let’s view it as an opportunity to refine our sleep routines.

Below, we tapped Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell, a Board-Certified Physician and Certified Sleep Specialist on how to navigate the time change and achieve our most restful and rejuvenating sleep yet. Keep scrolling to read all her expert tips.

Sleep Tips to Combat Daylight Savings Time (or Any Time Change)

1. Start going to bed early right now.
  • It’s best to actually start 3 to 5 days before the time change by moving your bedtime back about 15 minutes at a time each day in order to allow your body time to slowly adjust.
  • It can be helpful to implement using a device like Helight Sleep that has a programmed red light protocol, before your new bedtime, in order to make it easier to fall asleep earlier and for your body to adjust to the time change.
2. Keep a consistent bedtime routine.
  • Engaging in a consistent and soothing bedtime routine can help ensure that you are actually sleepy at your new bedtime.
3. Expose yourself to natural light first thing in the morning.
  • Light is the strongest factor influencing your circadian rhythm.
  • By exposing yourself to natural light first thing in the morning, you help your circadian rhythm to start sending those alerting factors, not only making you more awake and energized, but also making it easier to transition to the new earlier wake time.
5. Utilize power naps (siesta anyone?)
  • Even if you prepare early, the new time change will likely be rough for the first few days.
  • Adding in some strategic power napping to your day can help you regain some energy and focus and improve your mood while you’re adjusting to the time change.
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Janene Mascarella