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Are you ready to spring forward?

March 5, 2018—You're going to lose a little time this weekend. For most of the country, daylight saving time officially begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March (yep, it's nearly that time already) and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.

Of course, we gain more sunlit evening hours with daylight saving time. But the sudden switchover can mess with your sleep-wake cycle for days, possibly leaving you groggy and impairing your ability to perform activities that require you to be alert.

Don't wait until Saturday

Start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night this week. It can make the transition less jarring, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. And when the weekend comes, try the following tips for making that lost hour of sleep a little easier:

  1. Change your clocks early Saturday evening. Don't wait until you're ready for bed.
  2. Go to bed early enough for a full night's rest. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Check out this infographic to see sleep recommendations for people of all ages.
  3. Catch the morning light. When you wake up Sunday, head outdoors for a few minutes. The bright morning light will help reset your internal clock, making you feel more alert.
  4. Keep your Sunday bedtime. Now's not the time to skimp on slumber. You'll need a good solid rest to be fresh on Monday.

Keep a good thing going

The daylight saving switchover isn't the only time when a good night's rest is best. To improve your snooze throughout the year, try these tips courtesy of the National Sleep Foundation:

Stick to a schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day—even on weekends.

Save your bedroom for rest. When you head off to bed, don't take your laptop, smartphone or homework with you.

Start a soothing pre-bedtime ritual. Lower the lights, and try winding down with soft music or a warm bath.

Create a comfy sleep zone. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, cool and comfortable.

Don't stare at the alarm clock. If you can't sleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing in another room until you feel sleepy.

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