While our phones may automatically update as daylight saving time comes to an end, our bodies aren’t always as quick to adapt. Here are 6 tips to help you fall back into standard time on Sunday, Nov. 7.
1: 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 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, the faster your body will adjust to the time change.
2: 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.
3: 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.
4: 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. If you need a quiet place to nap on campus, check out the Relaxation Station nap pods available at Wardenburg and the Rec Center.
5: Change the rest of your clocks the night before
While most smartphones and computers update the time automatically, there are a number of clocks that you’ll need to change manually. Consider changing the clocks in your home, including those on your microwave, oven and car, before you go to bed on Sunday. In the morning, you’ll be relieved to know all of your clocks have the correct time.
6: Create a nighttime routine
Have a routine of activities or actions you do every night before bed. This can help signal to your brain that it’s time to start winding down for the day. Try taking a hot shower or bath, sipping on a cup of sleepy time tea, reading a book (not on a screen) or listening to a meditation. These types of relaxing activities will help your mind and body settle down for a good night’s sleep.
Resources for better sleep
Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a weekly Healthy Living workshop that covers a variety of health and wellness topics, including sleep, nutrition and eating, body image, physical activity, stress management and self-care.
Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a weekly Feel Good Friday workshop in partnership with the CU Art Museum. Join this drop-in workshop to enjoy a powerful guided meditation that can undo stress, soothe the nervous system and help you feel better.