While your phone may automatically update for daylight saving time, our bodies aren’t always as quick to adapt. Here are six tips to help you fall back into daylight saving time this weekend on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 a.m.
1. Update your clocks in advance
While most smartphones and computers update the time automatically, there are a number of clocks that you’ll need to change manually. Consider updating the clocks in your home, including those on your microwave, oven and car, before you go to bed on Saturday. In the morning, you’ll be relieved to know all of your clocks have the correct time.
2. Create a nighttime routine
Try to incorporate relaxing activities into a nightly routine that you can enjoy every night before bed. This can help signal to your brain that it’s time to start winding down for the day. For instance, you can take a shower or bath, sip on a cup of Sleepytime tea, read a book (not on a screen) or listen to a meditation. These types of activities will help your mind and body settle down for a good night’s sleep.
3. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
It can be tempting to stay up late or change your routine now that you have an extra hour in the day. However, disruptions to sleep can affect our mood, energy levels, concentration and overall health. The closer you stick to your normal routine of getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, the faster your body will adjust to the time change.
4. Limit your screen time
Our phone and computer screens emit high levels of blue light, which can negatively impact sleep. Blue light affects your circadian rhythm and melatonin (sleep) hormone levels, tricking your brain into thinking it is still daytime. While blue light glasses have become increasingly popular to combat these effects, there is limited research on their effectiveness. Instead, try to limit your screen time before bed or use apps that filter out or block blue light to help you get a better night’s sleep. Many devices allow you to set a timer, so your screen automatically reduces the amount of blue light at night and returns to normal in the morning. Here are a few you can try:
Available for: iPhone, iPad
Night Shift automatically adjusts the colors of your display to the warmer end of the spectrum — making the display easier on your eyes.
Available for: Android, Tablets
Set a darker theme on your phone or tablet, so you can use it more comfortably at night.
5. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and snacks before bed
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may prevent your body from relaxing naturally at night. Alcohol and food can also impact your sleep by disrupting your sleep hormones. Help your body relax and prepare for sleep by avoiding caffeine, alcohol and snacks later in the evening. If you are feeling hungry, keep your snacks small and light.
6. Take a cat nap if needed
If you’re feeling the effects of daylight saving time, it’s okay to take a quick cat nap during the day. Just be sure to limit your naps to 20–30 minutes. Longer naps can disrupt your normal sleep patterns and leave you feeling more tired overall.
Resources for better sleep
Students living in residence halls can order free Buff Boxes to get wellness supplies delivered to the front desk of their hall, including materials to help with stress and sleep.
Students who live off campus can pick up free supplies in the Figueroa Family Wellness Suite on the third floor of Wardenburg Health Center.
Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a free, weekly meditation online and in person at the CU Art Museum. This guided meditation can help undo stress, soothe your nervous system and help you feel more relaxed throughout the day. Meditations are available on Fridays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
Stop by one of the Relaxation Stations at the Rec Center or Wardenburg Health Center. Each station includes two nap pods that will lull you to sleep with a comfortable cushioned seat, customized sleep playlists and a gentle waking sequence. No reservation required, just drop by. Nap pods are free for all CU Boulder students, staff and faculty