How to adjust to the clocks going back

22 October 2019

Springing forward or falling back can be a confusing time for your body — and your mind. To help you avoid a foggy brain you may need to take a little extra care in your routines and habits in the time leading up to and following the big switch.

Gradually shift your sleep schedule 

Don't just suddenly change up your normal sleep routine — give your body some time to get used to it. Start moving up your regular bedtime a few days before the Daylight Saving Time switch, adjusting it in increments as you near the date. If you used 15-minute increments, you will be done adjusting in just four days. Make sure you don't skimp on sleep before or after the switch, as you may have a harder time adjusting.

Bright idea: Resist the urge the nap — it is after all, a dangerous game! According to the National Sleep Foundation, napping, especially later in the day, will only make it longer for you to find the right bedtime. A nap — shorter than 20 minutes — may be beneficial, but it is best to stick it out for the day.

Set a reminder to reset your clocks

You may not even remember that the clocks going back is just around the corner — especially since the official change is at 2:00 AM. Avoid missed appointments and ensure you wake up on time by setting reminders on your phone to change analog and digital clocks that do not automatically adjust.

Front of a house during the night

Use light to your advantage  

On Sunday morning, when the time change is fresh, get a good dose of bright light. Head outside to soak in the sunshine for a few minutes or take a short walk, which may help your body "wake up".

Bright idea: Cloudy outside? No worries — just use a Philips Hue White Starter kit to get warm, bright light at any moment of the day. With a Starter kit, you can even set a Wake-up routine that turns on your selected light at a specific time in the morning.

Set your outdoor lights to go on earlier           

The sun may go down an hour earlier, but that doesn't mean you have to come home to a dark house. Adjust the automations in your Philips Hue app to trigger your indoor or outdoor lights to come on earlier. Better yet: set an automation to turn on the lights when the sun goes down. Having a bit of light helps give you peace of mind in your surroundings and helps you get to the door safely by lighting up any obstacles in your yard.

People talking in front of a house door with a mounted outdoor motion sensor above it

Bright idea: If you want to be sure your lights are switched on when you arrive home, use a Hue Outdoor sensor to trigger them with movement. This ensures your lights are on when you need them — and can even contribute to deterring unwanted guests by making it look like you are at home.

Implement a nighttime ritual

Stick to the same bedtime routine in the time surrounding the end of Daylight Saving Time to help you prepare your body for the time change. Whether you take a relaxing bath and curl up with a good book or turn your phone to night mode and scroll away, repeating the same nightly routine helps you get into the right state of mind to fall asleep easier.

Bright idea: Set your Philips Hue light down low to help you wind down before bed and use the dimmed setting to help trigger your body and mind to get ready to count sheep.

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and colour ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness