Don't fall back to sleep - spring into action!
Last year, you liked our plan for a seamless circadian switch to British Summer Time so we're posting the details again ready for this weekend when the clocks go forward. Try it on the kids so they're not wiped out for school on Monday!
Waking up to light provides the brain's clock with one of its strongest signals and creates a starting point for the daily rhythms controlling the highs and lows of energy, appetite, sleepiness and lots more. This means that around five hours after waking up you'll feel like lunch; after around 13 hours, melatonin levels start to rise so that you'll soon feel like going to bed. So if some weekends you switch on that brain clock around 10am (later?) you won't fall asleep until much later than normal. And then you end up shattered when you're back at work.
So here are some steps you can take to make this weekend's transition a bit easier. Ideally, you'll be using Bodyclock to provide your wake-up sunshine but throwing open the curtains, breakfast in a bright conservatory or getting outside soon after will all do the trick.
Don't just lie there: it's better for your body clock to get up as normal on weekends so don't compensate for the lost hour by snoozing for longer this Sunday.
This schedule is the same kind of plan you'd use to avoid jet lag, just dealing with a smaller time difference. It's for someone that generally goes to bed about 11pm and wakes up at 7am during the week, so adjust by half an hour each time to suit you.
- Friday morning Get up at 6.30am instead and get some light as soon as possible. If you don't wake up with Bodyclock you could use one of our bright lights whilst you're getting ready or as soon as you get to work.
- Friday night Go to bed at 10.30pm. You'll probably feel ready for it after your earlier start.
- Saturday morning Shift your body clock a bit more by waking up at 6.00am. Yes, it's Saturday... but think of all the extra stuff you'll get done. Get some more bright light first thing.
- Saturday night After a long and action-packed day, you'll probably be glad to turn in at 10.00pm tonight. Remember to set your clock forward one hour.
- Sunday morning You'll be ready to wake up at 6.00am... but the clock will say it's 7.00am, so you're back to your usual wake-up time.
While everyone else is moaning about lack of sleep, you'll be full of beans and be set up for a good night's sleep, ready for Monday morning and the week ahead.