With Easter quickly approaching on March 27 – the same day that the clocks go forward by an hour – The Sleep Council suggests this might be the ideal recovery period to this year’s ‘lost hour’.
Said Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council: “Each year, when the clocks jump forward, and British summertime begins, many people find it hard to adjust to the time change as it can affect their body clocks. This in turn can effect sleep. Although it is only an hour, it can take weeks for some people to get back into their routine and feel normal again. However, Easter Monday may come to the rescue this year, giving us an extra day of recovery.”
If you’re someone who feels the effects of losing an hour’s sleep, try following these tips.
The Sleep Council tips to help yourself adapt:
• Move bedtime a little earlier, just by 10 minutes or so, in the days approaching the clocks going forward. It won’t seem too bad come Sunday when you lose those precious 60 minutes!
• Stay in bed and sleep for as long as normal on Sunday morning and make the most of Easter Monday with an extra lie in.
• Make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old. If it’s older than seven years, maybe use the long weekend to look at replacing it.
• Now that summer is nearly officially upon us, keep the bedroom as dark as possible. Light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. It is important to expose yourself to the light during the waking hours as much as possible, and conversely, do not expose yourself to bright light when it is dark outside.
• Practice good sleep hygiene. Create a sleep-friendly environment that enhances your chances of falling asleep, staying asleep and sleeping well. This includes a cool temperature (around 16-18 degrees) and eliminating distractions (ie banning mobiles, tablets etc in the hour before bed).
• Try not to overindulge in chocolate, food and alcohol over the Easter weekend. These all have a negative impact on sleep. If you get a craving to eat your Easter egg before bed, switch it for a milky hot chocolate instead.
• If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.
The Sleep Council has lots more free tips and advice.
For more information visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk