Make Clock Change Easy with Lumie Light Therapy
Cambridge-based light therapy specialist Lumie says waking with light is the key to managing clock change on Easter Sunday.
On Sunday 27 March we lose an hour’s sleep as the clocks go forward by an hour. Much as we welcome the longer evenings and brighter Spring days, losing that hour of sleep is going to make the next week or so extra tough for those who already get up early for the commute, an early shift, school run or training. While it’ll be tempting to hit the snooze button on Sunday, that will further disrupt your body clock making the early start on Monday even harder. Instead, the trick is to advance your body clock back by an hour in the run up to clock change:
This plan is based on a typical routine of bedtime at 11pm and wake-up at 7am – simply adjust to your own sleep pattern as necessary.
Step 1: Saturday am – get up about half an hour earlier than usual (6.30am).
Step 2: Saturday night – go to bed about 10.30 pm. The earlier than normal start should mean that you are extra tired and able to sleep earlier than usual. Remember to put your clock forward by an hour!
Step 3: Sunday am – wake up at 6am (BST 7am).
To help further, ideally wake with your Lumie Bodyclock and then get some bright light first thing either by using a Lumie bright light over breakfast or by going for a walk or run.
“Light is our body’s strongest cue for knowing when to wake up and when to go to sleep. It is an easy, non-drug way to sleep better at night and feel more alert during the day.” Prof. Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Director, Gillin Sleep and Chronomedicine Research Center, University of California.
Waking with light is proven1 to help you feel more awake in the morning, lift your mood, energy and productivity all day, and help you to feel ready for sleep when it’s time for bed. In the morning, light enters the eye through the eyelids and then stimulates the brain to suppress the sleep hormones like melatonin while increasing the get up and go ones like cortisol. Without a strong light stimulus our internal body clock tends to drifter later and later each day making it harder and harder to get up and get going. Once you’re awake, you can use a bright light during the day to give you a further boost of energy and to banish any slumps, typically after lunch.
1. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1993 Jul;88 (1): 67-71.