One hour less sleep: three solutions to deal with the time change

Waking up will be difficult on Sunday for many Quebecers who have trouble sleeping and will lose an hour of sleep due to the time change overnight, but some solutions can be put in place to minimize the repercussions.

• Read also: Time change: what is it for and when should it be done?

The move to Eastern Daylight Time represents an “additional challenge” for adults who are often sleep deprived, according to neuropsychologist DD Maude Bouchard.

“The time change, especially in spring, is a great awareness of the importance of sleep and the consequences when we lack it,” explained the woman who acts as director, research and development at HALEO, clinical virtual sleep.

If the hour of less sleep will affect both children and adults, it is the latter who risk paying the price the most, because the brains of young people are good at compensating for this lack.

“As adults age, they still recover and the brain tries to adapt, but it becomes less and less good,” underlined the neuropsychologist.

Here are some solutions to deal with the effects of the time change and avoid repercussions on your physical, but especially mental, health:

• Assess the state of your sleep in general

Half of the population may experience symptoms of insomnia at different times in life, recalled the DD Bouchard.

The time change is therefore a good time to evaluate your sleep: am I getting enough sleep on a daily basis? Does my schedule ensure that I get enough sleep? Am I sleepy or irritable?

“Often, we are basically sleep deprived,” underlined the specialist.

• Expose yourself to natural light

The time change allows you to gain an hour of daylight in the day and we must make the most of it, according to the DD Bouchard, who recommends exposing yourself to natural light, especially in the morning.

“Natural light speaks more to the brain and produces the right hormones to keep you awake and help you sleep in the evening,” she said.

• Move bedtime by 30 minutes for young families

For those with young children, moving bedtime up by 30 minutes the two days before the change can make the transition go smoothly, especially for little ones.

“For adults, the brain will try to compensate for a little deeper sleep,” reassured the neuropsychologist.

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