On Sunday morning, you'll need to turn your clocks forward an hour: Americans "spring forward" Sunday at 2 a.m. when Daylight Saving Time begins.
Losing an hour of sleep can cause a mild case of jet lag, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The time shift will result in darker mornings, too, which can make it harder to wake up.
A consistent routine is key for a good night's rest, and the extra hour that sneaks into your schedule for one night may throw you off for a while. "Sleep is a rhythm," Dr. Frank Lipman, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, told Grow. Meaning that any disruption, even if it's an hour less for one night, can result in worse sleep.
There are simple, affordable things you can do to get back on track quickly, though. If you're concerned about how the time shift will affect you, consider these tips.
One in 5 Americans uses over-the-counter sleep aids like Tylenol PM or ZzzQuil, but those drugs contain antihistamines and can have side effects. Instead, try one of these safer, expert-approved suggestions.
- Melatonin: Normally released by your body, this hormone dulls alertness to help you become sleepy. You can buy it in pill form. Take some at night — the right dosage per day for adults is typically between .5 and 1.5 milligrams — and you may doze off more quickly.
- Vitamin D and magnesium: Together, this pair of supplements can help regulate your sleep cycle. Take vitamin D in the morning, as it can give you a boost of energy, and magnesium at night to calm your mind and body. For vitamin D, the recommended dosage per day is 600 international units (IU), and for magnesium the recommended dosage per day is between 100 and 350 milligrams for adults.
- White noise machine: If you live in a noisy area, consider a white noise machine. Patients in a hospital were found to get better sleep with a noise machine compared to patients sleeping without one, according to a 2016 study. You can also download free white-noise apps onto your smart phone or tablet.
A glass of wine may help you doze off but you can wake up in the middle of the night when your body is breaking down the alcohol. This results in interrupted sleep, which can affect your mood the next day for the worse more dramatically than getting fewer, but uninterrupted, hours of sleep, according to a 2015 study by the National Sleep Foundation.
So, at least three hours before bed, avoid drinking alcohol if you're aiming to feel good the next day.
Your phone, laptop, and tablet all emit "junk light," which triggers your brain into being awake the same way daylight can, according to a 2013 study. Opt to read a book or listen to music before bed instead if you need to wind down.
Find a way to do whatever works best for you as part of a routine: Do it at the same time every day. A steady schedule is key to getting a good night's rest.
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