Body

7 ways to help yourself adjust to daylight savings ending this weekend - according to a sleep expert

Sleep coach Cheryl Fingleson shares her top seven tips to help you get your sleep back to normal when we switch the clocks back this Sunday.

Daylight savings ends this weekend, which means the clock goes back one hour at 3am on April 7, and if previous years are anything to go by, it can leave you feeling groggy and jet-lagged, without the bonus of just having been on an awesome overseas holiday.
The Sleep Coach, Cheryl Fingleson, says that it can take as long as a week to adjust to the change, but thankfully she has some expert tips that will help make the transition all the more easier and help you get your sleep cycle back to normal in no time.

1. Eliminate caffeine

Cheryl recommends you ditch the caffeine as it increases sleep fragmentation.
If you don't think you can completely give it up, try to cut back on your overall consumption by at least avoiding the afternoon coffee for a couple of days leading up to the time shift.
Blue light from your screens is tricking your body into thinking it's still daylight. (Image: Getty)

2. Disconnect from your screens

It's well known that blue light from electronic screens such as your phone, laptop and TV have been found to reduce the body's evening production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that tells the brain when its bedtime.
Instead, the blue light is tricking your body into thinking it's still daytime, so to help your body unwind appropriately, you should aim to switch off your screens after dinner and go to bed earlier (yep, that means no Netflix in bed).
Cheryl advises a few days before and after the time shift, find a good book or a crossword to keep you occupied before bed.

3. Avoid a sneaky nap

Cheryl advises against daytime naps while you're adjusting to the change in time.
"In that awkward daylight-savings adjustment period, taking naps may actually leave you more disorientated," she says.
Try and do you best to stay awake until the normal time to go to bed, otherwise you may confuse your body clock even more while it's still trying to adjust.

4. Turn your bedroom into your sanctuary

Whether you're going through a time shift period or not, it's always a good idea to pay attention to your sleep environment.
Keeping your tidy bedroom is more conducive to relaxation and a bed that has been well-made will be more comfortable.
Plus, a lack of laundry of clutter will help reduce anxiety that might be associated with a seemingly infinite to-do list.
Eating well is a great way to help encourage your body to reset. (Image: Getty)

5. Eat well

Cheryl says paying attention to how you eat, and having regular meals is another key to helping tired clients.
"There are many great ways to encourage your body to relax and reset," she says.
"Healthy, regular meals are a great balancer."

6. Embrace meditation

Cheryl suggests the shift in daylight savings is a great opportunity to embrace a new personal habit, and highly recommends the benefits of meditation.
When working with her clients she advises them to add a 10-minute wind-down routine before bedtime in order to calm their nervous system.

7. Seek help if you need it

If you find that you seem to be suffering from long-term sleep problems, she advises against relying to medication like sleeping pills, as there might be other factors in play.
Instead, if after a couple of weeks you still don't seem to have re-established a healthy sleep cycle, you should consult a doctor.
Cheryl Fingleson is an internationally certified gentle sleep coach at Cheryl The Sleep Coach. She works with families across a range of areas including settling and sleep techniques and establishing a good routine and discipline in the homes and has a passion for empowering parents with positive, proactive and gentle sleep techniques.