Tips to help spring forward this weekend

March 8, 2012 5:15:42 PM PST
We will spring ahead this weekend and lose one hour of sleep.

REMINDER: Push clocks ahead one hour at 2:00 a..m. Sunday (Saturday night)

You might think it's not a big deal, but studies have shown there is an increased number of heart attacks and accidents the first three days after we spring ahead.

That said, most people will be fine with the switch, but we have some tips to help you and your kids adjust.

Kurrie Wells, the Director of Mind and Body Medicine at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, says there are two approaches to handle springing forward. The first is a gradual approach.

Tonight, go to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake 20 minutes earlier.

The next two nights, add on another 20 minutes to each.

"It helps to bring a gradual schedule to help give your body its cue to figure out when it's time to fall asleep and when it's time to wake," Wells said.

She says this is the best approach for most people including kids.

So they don't lose the lump sum of an hour all at once.

That's the other approach - cold turkey.

In that case, Wells says try to wake when you usually would otherwise you may struggle to get to sleep that night and feel more sleep-deprived on Monday.

Whichever approach you take, as soon as you wake up, try to get natural light.

One more tip: Exercise.

Try to get out and do something on Saturday.

Exercise can help you fall asleep and sleep better throughout the night.

However, you want to exercise earlier in the day. Don't do it too close to bedtime.