Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorWell, that’s actually one piece of advice as we head towards my most hated day of the year: the day we spring forward.

Spring forward.” It sounds so positive and upbeat. But wow, I drag big time for a solid week after re-setting the clock.

Sure, I like longer days, and more light in the evening. But it’s the abrupt change that kills me and many others.

So, how do we survive?

The best advice may be to treat the changing of the clocks like jet lag. In other words, reset the body clock so 2 a.m. Sunday doesn’t strike like the shock of jumping into an icy lake.

That advice means make believe you are flying a couple of time zones east. And the time to start is now.

You know the first one is to go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier. Sort of like Olympic sleep training. If you can’t start with the hour now, do it in 20 minute increments over the next few days.

When you do get up in the morning, go outside. Take a walk if possible. If you’re a zombie like me, sit and sip your coffee in the sunlight (or brightness of morning.)

The idea here is that brighter light entering the eyes earlier in the day goes straight to this little gland deep in the brain that helps control sleep cycles. That light exposure gets this gland to adjust the production of body clock hormones.

How about evening? Dim those lights a little earlier in the evening. Caution with the bright screen of a computer or TV before bed. Some sleep experts say it might even be a good idea to go celebrity: put on some sunglasses an hour or so before bed.

Final thoughts: melatonin … maybe, maybe not.

Special diet. Probably not.

Exercise: Earlier is better.

Computer, video games, texting … nope. Too much stimulation. Keep it to a minimum.

That’s it. If you’ve got other advice, I’ll take it. Otherwise, see you in two weeks. It will take me that long to stop moaning.


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