Mark your calendars: March 11 is Daylight Saving Time. While you might be excited about squeezing in an extra hour of sunlight, your body might not be. After all, the loss of an hour can throw your internal clock into a tailspin. Rather than feeling lethargic all day, we consulted some experts on the best way to fight the fatigue. So put down that second (or third) cup of coffee and scroll down below to learn more.
1. Take it in quarters. According to SleepScore Labs board member, Dr. Nate Watson, it takes time to adapt to the new clock, but there’s an easy fix for that. “In general, it takes about one day to adjust to a one hour time change such as this (or when traveling). But by breaking the change up into four 15-minute increments you can mitigate the effect of this change on your health and well-being,” he says. He recommends heading to bed 15 minutes early for the four nights leading up to Daylight Savings to prevent any sleep loss along the way. Then, in the morning, “expose yourself to outside light upon awakening for these four mornings to reset your internal rhythms to this earlier bedtime,” he says.
2. Manage mealtime. Eating an entire pizza with wine won’t exactly do you any favors, especially when it comes to your rest. According to registered nurse, certified sleep educator, and Better Sleep Council consultant Terry Cralle, you should “plan to finish eating 2-3 hours before bedtime.” She also advises steering clear of some main culprits like booze or a late-afternoon latte. “Since alcohol and caffeine are sleep interrupters, try to limit your caffeine intake to the morning and finish drinking any alcohol by early evening,” she says.
3. Make a routine. Cralle also suggests to “make a ‘get better sleep deal’ with yourself.” By scheduling seven to eight hours of rest a night, even with the time change, the schedule will help your body feel better equipped to handle the change.
4. Supplement. Up your vitamin game with nutrients designed to naturally fend off tiredness and give you energy. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient responsible for forming red blood cells to provide more oxygen for energy production. Coenzyme Q10 is another component important for keeping cells properly functioning in exchange for energy. A deficiency in vitamin D, which is naturally produced in your body in response to sunlight, has been linked to various sleep disorders. Iron is key to keep oxygen readily flowing throughout the body and counteracting any signs of anemia; low levels of iron have also been linked to lower sleep quality. To make your supplement intake easy, Care/of ($5+ per month) provides personalized packs of vitamins that can be shipped straight to your door. Simple as that.
5. Head outside. The good news is that more sunlight means more time you can spend outside. Create some natural energy and endorphins by heading out for a walk (or jog, depending on how motivated you are!). Studies have shown that physical activity can improve sleep quality, so get moving now to rest well later.
We’d love to know — what other tips do you have for warding off fatigue? Let us know @BritandCo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
(Photos via Getty)