Sleep is vital to our health and well being, not only when recovering from surgery. Losing a full hour when Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday March 13 at 2AM can be disruptive as even one night of poor sleep can effect our mental and physical health

Spring forward is great news as it extends daylight into the evening hours. However, at least for the next few weeks, it will still be darker in the morning. This time change, like flying to a different time zone, can wreak havoc on our body's internal clock, leading to mental and physical fatigue. Curious about the history of daylight saving time? Click here for some fun facts. 

Here's a simple way to help manage the artificial change of time when "losing" an hour. We can avoid the fatigue and depletion from losing the hour with some simple shifts. These practices also apply when traveling through different time zones.

This method will help you avoid fatigue early next week:  

  • Head to bed ten to fifteen minutes earlier than usual, starting tonight. Each night this week, go to sleep an additional ten minutes earlier. 
  • Arise in the morning ten to fifteen minutes earlier than usual, pushing the time back ten minutes more each day.

If you continue to go to sleep at the same time and just wake up earlier, this technique won't be as effective. Following these steps, by Sunday, you'll have reset your internal clock by about an hour (6 nights of 10 minutes = 1 hour total), and the transition to Daylight Saving Time will be easier. You'll be less likely to depend on caffeine and sugar to feel awake and alert next Monday morning.