Your guide to thriving during the spring clock change
Set your clocks forward on Sunday March 27th
Daylight saving time is beginning soon.
On Sunday 27th March at 1 a.m., the clock will jump ahead to 2 a.m. That hour gets whisked away while we sleep, making it feel extra early when we wake up that morning. And then the sun stays out later into the evening, which can be great, but also feel a little disorienting.
It’s hard to know how to feel about the time change. But whether you’re an early bird who welcomes the extra sunlight, or a night owl dreading the early wake up call, one thing is true: This time of year can bring on troubles with anxiety and sleep. Here are some tips from the clinical team behind Daylight and Sleepio that may help.
Advice for night owls
Getting up in the morning is hard enough as it is – losing an hour of sleep to the clock change can bring on feelings of grogginess or anxiety about not getting enough rest. While there’s no avoiding the spring clock change, there are some steps you can take to help with your sleep.
- 3 nights before the clocks change: Ease into it. Start going to bed and waking up a little earlier each day — even 15 minutes helps — to prepare your body for the earlier wake-up call.
- 2 nights before the clocks change: Take time to wind down. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and do something relaxing like journaling, drawing, or meditating before bed.
- 1 night before the clocks change: Write out your to-do list. Anxious thoughts about the day ahead can keep you awake. Get everything down on the list so you don’t think about it in bed.
Tips for early birds
This time of year, early birds get the worm and an extra hour of daylight. Even if you look forward to this time of year, circadian disruption from the clock change can still take some getting used to. Here are some tips to help you and those around you adjust.
- Tip 1: Enjoy outdoor evenings. Extra daylight means time for things like post-dinner walks: which can lead to better sleep and reduced anxiety.
- Tip 2: Check in on the night owls. People who dislike clock change can sometimes struggle with anxiety or sadness. Give someone a call to say hey!
- Tip 3: Get out into the daylight. Daylight is a source of vitamin D, which your body needs plenty of. Taking some time to relax outside can improve your sleep and benefit your mental health.
Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, anyone can struggle with worry and sleep — especially this time of year.
Daylight and Sleepio are online programmes that use cognitive behavioural techniques to help people recover from anxiety and insomnia. In clinical trials, Daylight helped 71% of participants recover from clinical levels of anxiety,1 and participants using Sleepio fell asleep 54% faster and spent 62% less time awake at night.
Daylight and Sleepio are available to you at no cost.
To learn more visit trydaylight.com/nhs
To learn more, visit sleepio.com/nhs