Every spring we face the ritual of altering the clocks as we move to British Summer Time.
It’s a bit of a headache to make sure all the clocks in the house, the car and everywhere else have been changed.
Electronic devices usually update automatically but it’s always worth checking to see they have done it.
For many people the shift in times of sunrises and sunsets has a detrimental effect as their bodies adjust to new sleep patterns.
Those lighter evenings and darker mornings can make a real difference because of the way we are attuned to daylight – and the lack of it.
To help you avoid disrupted sleep, here are some handy tips for improving your chances of getting the full eight hours when the clocks go forward.
Adjust your Sunday routines
Sunday night can be one of the most stressful times of the week for the typical UK family, and one which typically follows the same pattern.
Children are frantically attempting to finish off any last-minute homework, while the adults get things ready for a busy week ahead at work.
One way to cope with the lost hour of sleep is to bring your Sunday habits back by an hour before it happens.
For example, if you normally eat your roast dinner at 5pm then aim to dine at 4pm on the Sunday of the clock change.
You should also make sure you don’t have too long a lie-in on the Sunday morning, so you’re completely ready for an early night.
A warm bath can work wonders
If you are someone who can take a while to drift off after getting into bed, here’s a fantastic tip for speeding up the onset of sleep.
Scientists say sleep is preceded by your body temperature dropping slightly.
Having a warm bath two hours before bed will gently raise your body temperature and when you get out of the water it will fall, tricking your body into thinking it’s time to sleep.
Add a drop or two of chamomile or lavender oil to the water too. Both of these essential oils are proven to help stressed or anxious people to fall and stay asleep.
Shut out the light
Many people find that one of the hardest things about the clocks going forward is attempting to fall asleep while it’s still light outside.
One of the best ways to tackle this tricky problem is to invest in some blackout blinds for the bedroom windows.
Even a small chink of light creeping into your bedroom, such as from the street lamps outside, can cause problems sleeping. So by helping stop outside light getting inside, blackout blinds can significantly improve sleep quality.
When the clocks go forward and the days lengthen, blackout blinds or heavily lined curtains will help keep your bedroom dark and sleep friendly even though the evenings and mornings are light.
Know the right foods and drinks
It’s a well-known fact that drinks high in caffeine, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks, can keep you awake if consumed after a certain point in the day.
But did you know there are foods that should also be avoided to prepare your body properly for sleep?
Foods to avoid within your meals and snacks on the day of the clock change include chocolate, ice cream and yogurt with coffee flavourings, protein bars, sugary sweets and other confectionery.