5 Tips for “Falling Back”
The end of Daylight Saving Time brings the gift of an extra hour of sleep. However, for many people it also brings drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, depression, cluster headaches, seasonal affective disorder and an increased risk for accidents. Here are a few tips that may make the transition easier.
- Prepare in advance. Try staying up 20 to 30 minutes past your usual bedtime both Friday and Saturday before the time change. Doing so may help you “fall back” more easily and be able to stick to your regular sleep schedule in the weeks ahead.
- Limit alcoholic, caffeine and nicotine in the days leading up to the time change. Doing so may help you sleep better and avoid the headaches, fatigue, irritability and drowsiness that are common side effects of “falling back.”
- Catch as many rays as possible during the day in the weeks ahead. Eat lunch outside or take a 20-minute walk to soak up as much sun as you can. Your improved mood and energy levels will thank you.
- Take a hike. Exercise releases serotonin in your brain, which helps your body adjust to the time change. Instead of going home and crashing after work, try incorporating a brisk evening walk into your schedule.
- Avoid napping. Feeling tired or groggy? A quick walk (or a bunch of jumping jacks) and a healthy snack can help you feel more energized.
About the Author
Ginger VanNess, MHA, RPSGT, RRT, RCP, is a polysomnographic technician and manager of the Cone Health Sleep Disorders Center