How to ease your body into daylight saving time

As we "spring forward" and lose a precious hour of sleep this weekend, Emory internist Dr. Sharon Bergquist says we may be feeling it come Monday morning.

"It can be hard on your body, especially if you go into it tired," Bergquist says.

The change to daylight saving time can make it harder to concentrate, drive and stay focused at work.

It may help to ease into the time change gradually, by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, to give your body a chance to adjust to getting less sleep.

Or, Bergquist says, you could wait.

"The night before the daylight saving, try to go to bed a little bit earlier," she says. "That way you're not only well-rested going into daylight saving, but you're also getting used to that time change."

Dr. Bergquist says she is a big believer in a good sleep routine, not just going by to bed and waking at the same time, but allowing your body time to wind down in the evening.

Try turning off your phone, computer, and TV at least a half hour before you go to bed, she says.

"That way, your body's naturally getting ready and in sync, with the day and night pattern you're trying to establish," she says.

The sun will be setting later in the day, so Dr. Bergquist recommends keeping your bedroom as dark as possible.

"So, even if you're getting up to use the restroom in the middle of the rather than turning on bright lights if you can keep it dark,

that does help your body stay in the sleep mode longer," she says.

Getting outside into the sunlight early in the day can also help you feel more alert, by signaling to your brain that it is time to wake up.

And, getting regular exercise can also help you fall asleep.

Come Monday you may need an extra cup of coffee to make it through the day.

Most experts recommend avoiding caffeine after 3 p.m. because it can keep you awake.

Dr. Bergquist says the good news is your body should adjust to the time change in a day or two.

So, drink up and hang in there.