The clock will jump forward an hour for most Americans on Sunday, March 11 — at 2 a.m. to be exact. The annual change allows people to have an extra hour of daylight after their work or school activities in the warmer months. But it can be alarming for people to get up earlier than they're used to.
Here are some tips to feel your best when changing your clock.
Know How Much Sleep You Prefer
It's important to know ahead of time how much shut eye you're going to need. But sleeping times vary from person to person, and needs change as people age, so the amount of hours each person sleeps will be different.
Go to Bed Earlier
If you're going to be getting up earlier, you'll want to go to bed earlier — according to how many hours of sleep you need. It can help to set an alarm to remind you when it's time to go to bed. When that alarm goes off, wind down for the night by dimming the lights, turning off electronic devices and relaxing.
Include the Kids, Too
Tuck the kids in earlier as well. Because of the potential sleep loss, make sure they avoid sugary snacks or dessert the night before. Kids will naturally sleep for as long as they need, so if your little ones show signs of crankiness or fatigue in the morning, allow them to sleep a little longer.
It's OK to Nap
If you're feeling sluggish after the time change, don't be afraid to take a little nap during the day. Taking a 30-minute-or-less nap — not too close to bedtime — will help you get through the day's to-do list. Your body will adjust to the new time as the days go on.
Doing some moderate activity, like taking a walk or climbing the stairs in your building, can help you sleep better as you adjust to the time change. The exercise will give you a boost of energy and help you fall asleep.