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DST Hangover? Try This Spring-Forward-Better Schedule

sleep Mar 06, 2019

Can that one hour spring forward in March really impact sleep? Yes!

Sleep is finicky. It likes a schedule. And Daylight Saving Time (DST) throws it off. Some folks can recover quickly from the one hour shift, but others may feel exhausted and "off" for many days after the time change. The latter is what we call the DST hangover.

If you're looking for a cure, try this simple schedule change to help you spring forward and meet the week in better shape.

p.s. This is also a great schedule change to use with kids. The more gradual change in bedtime and wake time should make their transition easier (aka less crankiness).

Spring-Forward-Better Schedule: Start Springing on Thursday

This schedule change is pretty simple. Here's the plan:

Go to bed 10-15 minutes earlier than you usually do on the Thursday night before DST. Then, get up 15 minutes earlier than you usually do the next morning (Friday). Follow that with a Friday night bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier than Thursday and a Saturday morning rise 15 minutes earlier than Friday morning.

These shifts should then lead you to a Saturday night bedtime about 45 minutes earlier than your usual time and a rise Sunday morning at your USUAL time (DST has started!). Sunday night you can then go to bed at your USUAL time.

Here's an example for a usual bedtime at 10 pm and wake up at 6 am:

  • Thursday bedtime at 9:45-9:50 pm
  • Friday wake up at 5:45 am
  • Friday bedtime at 9:30-9:40 pm
  • Saturday wake up at 5:30 am
  • Saturday bedtime at 9:15-9:30 pm
  • Sunday wake up at 6 am
  • Sunday bedtime at 10 pm

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