Today’s the day we’re all a little snippy and out of it from dealing with losing an hour of sleep: You can thank Daylight Savings Time for starting up again. (Admittedly a worthy trade-off, we would still argue, for the return of long, sunny days.)
So to save you some aggravation, and maybe even a few Zzzs, Bare Necessities rounded up six of the top tactics experts suggest to try to get through this groggy Monday-iest of Mondays. We’re taking our own advice around here, too. If nothing else, we can slog through it together and get on with spring.
GO TO BED EARLIER.
It makes sense on paper that if an hour of your night evaporates into thin air, you’d want to try to make up for it by banking a few extra minutes when you can. Of course, there’s the rub: Who has spare time, even these days? The good news, though, is that even 15 minutes can make a big difference when it comes to your sleep-regulating Circadian rhythms.
“Daylight Savings is a joke when you have small children. Their body has its own clock and somehow both springing forward and falling back become obsolete. My kids wake up early on the days you want them to sleep in, and they sleep in, well, never. So losing this hour of sleep doesn’t faze me too much; we just all try to get to bed a little early all week long. I bought these Honeydew Intimates leopard pajamas to keep me cozy at night…even if it’s for an hour less than usual.” —Heather Viskovic, premium brands buyer
WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME.
Sleep experts say this is key all year round—even more so than going to bed at a consistent hour. Avoid the temptation to take a nap, which can make it even harder to adjust to the new program.
“I’m already an early riser and a morning person. If I work out on a weekday morning, I wake up at 6 AM. If I don’t work out, or it’s a weekend, I make it 7 AM. While I do use an alarm clock, it’s rare for it to actually wake me. I don’t go to bed late, so it comes easy to me to naturally wake up with the sun. I like springing ahead because it feels like I’m sleeping in!” —Jeanette Cafaro, product merchandising coordinator
MAKE THE LONGER DAYS WORK FOR YOU.
The point of Daylight Savings Time is that it’s bright out later into the day, so you should bank as much Vitamin D as you can. Keep the windows and the blinds open from when you wake up until it grows dark or, better yet, get out there.
“I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that I need to get outside for my mental and physical health. Now that it’s nice out, I have no more excuses. My plan is to go on long walks after work with my dog, Gracie. If we go for a jog, I’m lost without the Panache Ultimate High Impact Underwire Sports Bra. For a quick walk and general everyday wear, I’m in the Birdsong Eva Full Cup T-Shirt Bra. Spring forward, let’s get to it!” —Moira Nelson, director of design and product development
TAKE THE STING OUT OF SCREENTIME.
We all know by now how stimulating and addictive all those tiny screens can be; before you even realize it, you’ve been doomscrolling for an hour when you should have been winding down. Charge your phone or tablet at least an hour before bed, in another room (out of sight, out of mind). While you are online, blue-light glasses can help your case; a 2017 study showed that people who used them produced more sleep-inducing melatonin at bedtime.
“My job requires a lot of website programming, which is to say staring intently at two giant computer monitors eight hours a day. Soon I noticed I was having trouble focusing on small characters on screen. My ophthalmologist suggested I try blue light-blocking glasses to help prevent fatigue and protect my eyes from the waves emitted from all of our devices. I found they really did help. Before long, I was wearing them for work and when I was just playing around on my phone. Wearing the glasses, especially in the evening, helped relieve some tension, and I noticed I was falling asleep with less effort. They’re cute and affordable, too: I have four different pairs I rotate almost all day long.” —Melissa Costello, e-commerce coordinator
EAT AND DRINK WISELY.
Help out your confused body this week by fueling it strategically: Cut the caffeine and alcohol as early in the day as you can, and sidestep spicy, fatty foods and late-night snacking.
“I’ve been really cognizant of this since a bout with insomnia a few years ago, so I’ll be extra careful when Daylight Savings further conspires against me. My second cup of coffee usually goes down around 2 PM, so I’ll make it more like 1 o’clock to compensate, and I don’t nurse my glass of red wine later than dinnertime anymore. Having a child, we eat a lot earlier than we used to, so if I can fend off my sour-cream-and-onion-flavored-kryptonite while on the couch, I know I’ll be all metabolized and primed to sleep in my supremely soft and snuggly Kate Spade jammies and Barefoot Dreams cardigan before it gets into the wee hours.” —Brooke Glassberg, editor
GET SOME EXERCISE.
As long as it’s not right before bed (give yourself a good two-hour buffer), a serious sweat session will somehow magically both energize your days and prime you to sleep like a stone at night.
“After seeing my sister get a Peloton, then my mom, I traded in my ‘Pretendaton’ stationary bike. At first, I took beginner rides with all of the instructors to see which ones I vibed with. Jess King is my favorite: She’s fun, motivating and kicks your ass with a smile. I’m already working up to my 100th ride. I’m not one to join in on something because everyone else is doing it, but I get why people are obsessed with Peloton. It’s so motivating and inspiring. You can let it all go in the comfort of your own place; sometimes I work out in only my Natori Gravity and leggings. Plus, the app offers yoga, Pilates and so many other off-bike workouts. You can get in the best shape of your life—at least, that’s my 2021 plan.” —Kat Stafford, email marketing coordinator