GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Daylight Saving Time is this weekend, which means losing an hour of sleep.
Experts tell us that if the time change tends to affect you, there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier.
“If you don’t get a lot of sleep there are even a lot of next-day consequences, like having difficulty focusing, or concentrating, or you’re more irritable,” Dr. Leisha Cuddihy, PhD a Psychologist with Spectrum Health.
Cuddihy said it’s not the biggest deal for some, but it can really throw off others.
“They just wake up and their phone says a different time so they get up and it’s fine, there are definitely people who struggle with it a lot more or they’re more sensitive to those time changes and the best thing you can do is start preparing in advance.”
Cuddihy suggests easing into the change little by little.
“Setting your alarm a little earlier like 15 minutes at a time every day, so by the time it gets to the actual switch, you’re already on the new time. So rather than having to make that big jump all at once, you do it incrementally,” she explained.
Cuddihy recommends getting anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep to help your mind and body restore itself and keep you healthy.
She said, “The body’s immune system has to work harder when you’re not getting enough sleep, so you’ll be more susceptible to illness or take longer to recover from illness.”
If sleep just seems elusive in general, it may be time to take a look at your sleep habits or seek out some help.
“If there is something else that is disruptive to your sleep or you feel like you’re not getting enough rest, even though you’re sleeping all night, or you’re having a really hard time sleeping on a more chronic basis, talk to your doctor.”
Some other good hygiene tip include making sure your bedroom is as dark as possible, keep the temperature at a comfortable level, and limit exposure to screens or intense exercise within an hour before bed.