How to cope with the clock change

On Sunday 29 March the clocks go forward by an hour, meaning we lose an hour of sleep.

This can throw the circadian rhythms that control your body clock out of sync, making it difficult to get up at your usual time on Monday morning.

To help you cope with the clock change, light-therapy specialist Lumie has put together a three-step plan for adjusting your body clock. It’s based on a typical routine of going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 7am, but you can adjust it for your own sleep pattern accordingly.

Step 1: Saturday morning

Get up about half an hour earlier than usual (eg 6.30am).

Step 2: Saturday night

Go to bed about half an hour earlier than usual (eg 10.30pm), remembering to put your clock forward by an hour first. The early start should mean you’re tired enough to go to bed a bit earlier.

Step 3: Sunday morning 

Get up at 7am, which would actually be 6am if you hadn’t put the clocks forward. By gradually adjusting your sleep pattern you should feel energised and ready for a good night’s sleep on Sunday night to prepare you for the week ahead.

To help with the early mornings, you could also use a wake-up light like the Lumie Bodyclock, which simulates a gentle sunrise during the last 30 minutes of sleep. Light stimulates the production of hormones such as cortisol, which help you get up and go, while suppressing those that bring on sleep. Alternatively, you could go outside and do a bit of exercise to help wake yourself up.

Find out why we change the clocks every year in issue 71 of How It Works magazine, on sale now! Pick up a copy from all good retailers, or order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, make sure you subscribe today!

How It Works Issue 71