The clocks will be turned back an hour for most Americans on Sunday, Nov. 3 — at 2 a.m. to be exact. The annual change begins in March, allowing people to have an extra hour of daylight after their work or school activities in the warmer months. But now, as fall sets in and winter nears, daylight saving time has ended.
It can be alarming for people to go to sleep earlier or stay in bed longer before work. 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. Take this into account when getting ready for bed and setting your alarm.
Ease Into the New Schedule
Some people may struggle with adjusting their internal clock and — essentially — going to sleep an hour earlier than they normally do. They may not even be tired yet. So to get your body used to change, gradually moved up your bed time over several days. One doctor suggests going to sleep 15 minutes earlier one night, and then plan for 30 minutes earlier the next night. Before long, you'll be back on track with the clock.
Stick to Your New Times
Once you get your rhythm back, stick to it, including on the weekends. This will help your body adjust better. Don't be tempted to fill the "extra" hour with more activities or chores. Not following the clock will put you at a greater risk of being affected by the end of daylight saving time.
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 in the morning or 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 more easily.