At the end of the week we return to British Summer Time! But while the prospect of lighter evenings is certainly appealing, the hour of sleep we’re going to have to sacrifice to get there is not.
Yes, the clocks are changing again (fun fact: it’s the 100th anniversary of the first clock change), and unlike the autumn counterpart, we’re not looking forward to it. While it takes only a day or so to adjust to the clocks going back in October, it can take much longer to get used to the shift forward to British Summer Time, and regardless, it’s never fun to have to wake up an hour earlier. But there are a couple of things that you can do to make the change bearable:
Start going to bed ten minutes earlier every night
Start early! There’s no need to wait until right before the clocks go back. If you make the change gradual, your body will have time to get used to the lost hour when the clocks go back at the end of the week. This is especially important for young children and babies, who won’t understand the sudden change.
Change the clocks on Saturday evening
Nowadays phones and computers usually change automatically, but if you do still have any clocks that need manually changing, the tendency is often to leave it until Sunday morning. Instead, put your clocks back on Saturday night—this will encourage you to go to bed earlier, helping you to get used to the new time.
Don’t lie in on Sunday
Yes, it’s very tempting to just stay in bed the morning after the clocks have gone forward. But though this year many of us will catch a break in the form of the Easter Monday bank holiday, come Tuesday, you’ll have no choice but to get used to the change. So it’s best to start adjusting as quickly as possible. (In fact, you should try to get up at the same time every day whether you need to get up or not, as this is much better for your internal clock.) Again, make sure that the kids are getting up as well, however much they might object!
Take a nap
If you do find yourself getting sleepy in the days immediately following the clock change, a quick nap can do you the world of good. A 20-minute “power nap” is ideal if you have to work all day, as you can fit it in during a lunch break. Early afternoon is the best time to take a nap—any later than 3pm and you run the risk of being wide awake when it’s time to go to sleep for real.