Daylight Saving Time Change: This weekend is the time to think about it!

The 2024 DST change is fast approaching now and you need to prepare for it now.

Daylight Saving Time Change: This weekend is the time to think about it!

The 2024 DST change is fast approaching now and you need to prepare for it now.

The transition to summer time is now fast approaching. An obligatory passage since the 1970s in France which makes us advance our watches by an hour every last weekend of March, which propels us into the future and therefore makes us lose an hour of sleep. If we talk about "only" an hour difference, this is nevertheless poorly experienced by part of the French population. It is therefore advisable to prepare at least a week before the time change, to minimize the impacts. Here are five practical tips to apply now to get through this 2024 time change.

1. Harmonize meal times now. If you're used to eating at almost any time, think about it this weekend. To avoid delayed digestion, it is advisable to have an early and light dinner. Or in any case at a fixed time until the time change on the night of March 30 to 31. So it’s about eating a little earlier this week (6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. or 7 p.m. sharp instead of 8 p.m.?), to anticipate.

2. Reduce stimulants. Consumption of stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol does not help during the time change. From this weekend and throughout the week, we recommend that you avoid coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate and alcohol. The recommendation is clear: avoid consuming these stimulants several hours before bedtime, particularly after 4 p.m., and favor a dark environment that promotes the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

3. Adapt your bedtime. To facilitate the adaptation of our biological clock, it is suggested that we gradually adjust our bedtime and wake-up times. Start by moving your alarm clock forward a few minutes each day starting this weekend. Concretely, we advise you to set your alarm 10, 15 and then 30 minutes earlier and go to bed the night before to get used to it. For example, 10-15 minutes earlier this weekend, 15-30 minutes earlier Monday to Wednesday, 30-45 minutes earlier Thursday and Friday and of course 1 hour earlier Saturday.

4. Expose yourself to natural light in the morning. Natural light in the morning plays a crucial role in adjusting the time change. By exposing ourselves to sunlight as soon as we wake up, we adapt more quickly to the sunrise which will occur earlier in a week. This morning exposure is also beneficial for our mood and alertness throughout the day. So, make an effort to spend time outside in the morning, and open the curtains and blinds wide to let in the light.

5. Take an afternoon nap. The two weeks surrounding the time change (one before, one after) are critical. During this time, it is important to take breaks and listen for signs of fatigue. A short nap, 10 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon can be particularly regenerating. But beware ! Never nap after 3 p.m.!

Final advice: Friday and next Saturday, which directly precede the time change (at 2 a.m. on Sunday, it will be 3 a.m.), are of particular importance. It is recommended not to stay up late on these nights. This is particularly difficult but relevant for those who are used to staying up late and are most likely to feel the effects of daylight saving time. Finally, setting your clocks on Saturday evening can also help you prepare mentally and stay calm.

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