In the northern hemisphere including the US, Canada, most of Europe and most of Asia, we’ll be falling back an hour in either October or the first Sunday in November (depending on the country). And in the southern hemisphere, Australia will be springing forward one hour in the beginning of October while most of South America and Africa don’t observe the semi-annual time change. So, for most of the world, we’ll gain an extra hour of sleep the night before (if you’re body doesn’t naturally wake you up before your alarm does.
For a smooth adjustment in the northern hemisphere, says Alexandre Abreu, M.D., co-director of the University of Miami Sleep Medicine program, suggests that you don't sleep in on that Sunday morning. Get up at the same time that you’ll need to wake up on Monday — or even earlier. Regardless of what time you wake up, your body will feel sluggish in the evening as it is not used to the sun setting an hour earlier. But try to avoid the urge to nap. The goal is to be able to fall asleep at a normal time Sunday night and feel rested Monday morning.
Here are a couple tips to help readjust your body so that you won’t be falling asleep to early or waking up in the middle of the night:
· Introduce artificial light and a bit of exercise after dinner. Stay out of the house for an hour or two in the early evening and maybe hit the gym, go for a walk, go grocery shopping, socialize with friends, etc.
· And when it’s time to prepare for sleep, dim the lights and slow down about an hour before bedtime. Start shutting off some lights and turning off screens, and maybe do some light stretching. This will encourage your body to start producing melatonin, the hormone that prepares you for sleep.