Expert advice on dealing with losing an hour when your clocks ‘spring forward

Daylight saving time is coming this weekend. And for a lot of us, any change to our morning or evening routine throws the family off track – especially losing an hour of sleep. But while we can’t stop the time change, here are some things we can do to ease its impact of springing forward, according to Dr. Philip Alapat, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Harris County Hospital District in Houston.

Be prepared – You may think you have a hard time adjusting to the time change, but it’s harder for the kids. So Dr. Alapat suggests adjusting their bedtime four days before the switch, putting them down 15 minutes earlier every day until you’re an hour ahead on the night of the time change.

Stay on schedule – Dr. Alapat says people who are already sleep deprived will actually feel the loss of the hour more, so over-tired moms need to stick to their schedule of getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. He says this is also the time to ease up on caffeine and alcohol because they can disrupt sleep, but that’s easier said than done.

Get some sun – Along with plenty of sleep, you also need “early morning bright light exposure” to keep your circadian rhythms on track, Dr. Alapat says. So eat breakfast in a sunny spot, or head out for a morning walk.

Take two days to adjust – We may feel restless and unfocused at first, but within a day or two, most of us will adjust. And Dr. Alapat says it’s easier to get used to “gaining” an hour in fall than it is to “losing” one in spring. So why do we have to do this again?

Source: Working Mother