This weekend the clocks will go forward, and whilst it is great to finally see the start of British Summer Time, the sudden loss of an hour can disrupt sleep patterns, eating habits, and have an overall impact on our daily lives. Those who tend to be most affected are babies, young children, and adults with existing sleep issues. Nevertheless, below you can find some tips from which everyone can benefit.
Reset your clock in advance – One way to avoid the disruption is to allow your body clock to adjust to the change before it actually occurs. For sensitive individuals like babies, this can be achieved by moving their bedtime (and wake times, daytime naps, meals, baths etc.) by 20 minutes every few days. For example, if the baby’s bedtime is 8 pm, over three days you should reset it to 7.40pm, 7.20pm, and then 7 pm. The aim is that by the time the clocks go forward, they are effectively an hour behind and therefore experience no disruption to their body clock.
The night before – If you haven’t had the chance to reset your body clock in advance, you can change your watch to the new time on the night before, and go to bed an hour earlier than normal. This will help prepare your brain for the time change.
Get up at the same time – So as not to confuse your body clock, it is vital to get up at the same time on Sunday morning as you normally would and get on with your day.
Light up your day – Since light plays an important role in keeping your body clock on time, it can be really helpful to get outside for a 20-minute morning walk on Sunday. The natural light on your skin will tell your body clock that it’s morning, and help it adjust to the change.
Embrace the tiredness – Aim to keep active all day and avoid the urge to have a nap on Sunday afternoon. Whilst it might seem like a good idea, it is likely to confuse your body clock further and weaken your chances of sleeping well on Sunday night.