A good night’s rest during this weekend is vital for your body’s clock to transition to the new weekday schedule. For starters, go for a run on Saturday because exercise will significantly improve your snooze quality. Michael Breus, Ph.D., a runner and sleep specialist also recommends reducing your alcohol and caffeine consumption this weekend.
“Alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep,” he says. “Calm your caffeine consumption down by 2 p.m. on Saturday—that will help get you into deeper stages of sleep that night.”
2. Adjust your sleep schedule.Go to bed 30 minutes earlier on the night before daylight saving ends and sleep in 30 minutes later Sunday morning (unless you have a race like the New York City Marathon to get up for!), Breus recommends. “It takes the circadian clock in the body about a day to get used to the change,” he says.
Putting in the extra Z’s during the weekend time shift will help you feel less tired if you have to get a run in before work Monday morning.
3. You can still run at the same times you normally do...Stick to your same weekday running schedule. If you normally run at 5:30 a.m., run at that time Monday morning even though it will feel (and appear outside) like it’s 6:30 a.m. for a few days. This will help you transition to the new schedule faster. (Plus, you can celebrate more light in the morning!).Breus does warn that you still may feel a little groggy—and your workouts might feel harder—those first few days following the clock change. This will all feel worse in the spring when the clock jumps forward. “The more sleep deprived a person is, the more perceived exertion they’ll have,” he says. “You will feel like your workout isn’t as good but that might not be true—it just feels that way—so don’t get down on yourself on your run Monday.”4. ...but you may want to run with the sunrise.If you feel exceptionally off during those first few morning runs, try to head out when the sun comes up (around 6:30 a.m.) This is easier when the clock moves back in the fall when you get those early-morning rays. “When light hits the optic nerve, it tells your brain to stop producing melatonin,” Breus says.
That’s important because according to a recent study published in the journal Neuron, your body produces the hormone melatonin to induce sleep. Exposing your body to light will block its production helping you feel more awake.
5. Keep your alarm clock far away from your bed. This is a simple but effective trick to get you out from under the covers when your internal clock isn’t fully adjusted, Breus says. “Really you’re just going to need extra motivation to wake up.” The key is to just get up and out the door. If you do that, after a few days your schedule will go right back to feeling normal, he says.