Navigating the time change

Whether you look forward to the extra few hours of sunlight or dread the thought of losing an hour of sleep, March means it’s time to spring forward to Daylight Saving Time. This can be hard for some people because the change in time also triggers an abrupt shift in our internal body clocks, which can lead to a disrupted sleep schedule. Luckily, there are things we can all do to minimize the adverse effects, and Total Urgent Care is here to tell you about them.

The “spring forward” typically occurs in the early hours of a Sunday morning, which can have a negative effect on the body’s circadian rhythms—the internal clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Some side effects include:

  • Having difficulty falling asleep and waking up at the usual times, causing sleep deprivation and fatigue.
  • Increased stress levels affect both physical and mental well-being.
  • Difficulties with concentration, memory, and overall cognitive performance.
  • Irritability, mood swings, or feelings of sluggishness.

Fortunately, there are several strategies and tips you can employ to help ease the transition and reclaim restful nights. From establishing a consistent sleep schedule to creating a calming bedtime routine, implementing these practices can gradually realign your body’s internal clock with the new time.

Tips on how to get a good night’s sleep:

  1. In the days leading up to the time change, gradually shift your bedtime and wake-up time by 15 minutes each day. This helps your body adjust more smoothly to the new schedule.
  2. Create an optimal sleep environment by keeping the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet. Limit exposure to screens before bedtime and establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine.
  3. If you feel exhausted during the day, consider short naps to boost alertness. However, avoid napping too close to bedtime to prevent interference with nighttime sleep.
  4. Spend time outdoors, especially in the morning, to expose yourself to natural sunlight. It helps regulate your circadian rhythm and reinforces your body’s internal clock.
  5. Exercise can aid in promoting better sleep quality and overall well-being.
  6. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help manage stress and promote restful sleep.

Healthy habits begin at Total Urgent Care

In most cases, experts say these symptoms are temporary and will disappear within a few days. But if you have any concerns, a quick visit with a licensed medical provider at Total Urgent Care can help you determine if you just need a little more sleep, or if you should speak to a specialist. Walk in at any time or book your check-in time online. You can learn more about Total Urgent Care on our website, or by contacting us.