Top tips to survive the clocks going forward
British Summer Time marks the end of dark, chilly evenings and lets us know that summer is on the way. While we often welcome an extra hour of daylight when the clocks go forward, it does mean losing a precious hour in bed.
For many of us, the time change can take a real toll on our sleeping patterns. When the clocks move forward, it means that you need to begin your day an hour earlier and it can impact your usual sleep cycle. This might leave you feeling tired, sluggish and out of routine. This is especially true for young children, who may find adjusting to the time change difficult.
To help you get used to the clocks going forward, we’ve put together some expert tips.
Keep to your routine
When the clocks go forward, it can be tempting to give yourself an extra hour in bed to make up for lost time.
To help you adjust to your new sleep cycle, it’s actually better to stick to your usual wake-up time. While this will mean less sleep in the short term, it’ll help your body get used to the time difference. After a few days, you should start to feel tired earlier and your usual sleeping pattern should return.
Listen to your body
While there is certainly something in the proverb ‘early to bed, early to rise,’ there’s no need to force an early bedtime. If you’re not tired, you’ll likely find yourself lying awake and frustrated when sleep evades.
Instead, wait until you’re sleepy before snuggling up under the covers. If you combine this with a consistent wake-up time, you should find that you begin to feel tired earlier in the evening. Don’t forget to give yourself plenty of time to wind down before going to bed too.
Take time to adjust
Keeping to your usual routine might feel a bit strange at first. You may feel more tired during the day and your body might protest at waking up earlier than it feels you should. It can be tempting to take a nap or have a lie in to combat this.
However, in the long term, you’ll feel better when you get back into a regular sleep routine. Naps and lie ins are great every now and then, but they will interrupt your night-time sleep cycle if they become too regular. When the clocks move forward, it’s much better to be consistent in your wake-up times. Give yourself time to adjust and you’ll find that things are back to normal in no time.
Be flexible with bedtimes for children
Bedtimes can be even trickier for children when the clocks go forward. You might find that your kids are not tired at their usual time and they may struggle to wake up as normal too.
While it’s important that children get plenty of sleep, forcing an early bedtime when British Summer Time arrives might not work. They need time to adjust too, so it may be a good idea to be flexible on lights out for a few days.
Instead, try to encourage a calm and quiet atmosphere around the time you want your children to go to bed. If they’re not ready for sleep yet, story-time in a dimly lit room may help them unwind and feel sleepier. Like with the adults in the home, keep to a consistent wake-up time to maintain routine.
For more expert tips on getting a great night’s sleep, visit our Bensons for Beds blog.