The 5 best sleep tips for the time change

One in four suffers from health problems after the time change. The change to summer time confuses the sleeping rhythm and leads to problems falling asleep, sleep disorders and a reduction in concentration and performance. Find out here why the time change causes poor sleep and what tips you can use to prepare your body for the change and still sleep well.

Table of Contents

      1. The change to daylight saving time
      2. Our internal clock
      3. 5 Ssleeping tips for the time change
      4. Conclusion

      The change to daylight saving time

      It's that time again: the changeover to daylight saving time robs us of an hour of sleep on the night from Saturday to Sunday, which means that it will remain light an hour longer in the evening and dark one hour longer in the morning. However, changing the clock from two to three o'clock and the resulting shift in the daily rhythm poses a small challenge for many people. Almost every fourth person reports health problems as a result of the time change. During this time, many people suffer from insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, concentration problems or negative moods and feel tired and listless for up to two weeks. And why exactly is it that we sleep badly after a time change?

      Our internal clock

      The fact that the change throws us off course in this way has to do with our natural biorhythm. Like all living beings, we humans also have an internal clock that controls our sleep-wake rhythm and ensures that we tire in the evening and wake up again in the morning. This so-called circadian rhythm is also influenced by external factors. Light and darkness serve, for example, as an external impulse that has a strong influence on the biochemical processes in our body and adapts our sleeping and waking phases to the natural daily routine. The changeover to daylight saving time not only robs us of an hour of sleep once, but also acts like a kind of mini-jetlag - because the body needs time to adapt to the new conditions.

      The widespread difficulties with falling asleep are mainly caused by the disruption of our hormonal balance. In the evening, when it gets dark, our body produces more of the melatonin known as the sleep hormone, which makes us tired and helps to shut down and fall asleep. As the night progresses, melatonin levels drop again and the body releases more cortisol to wake up in the morning. Because the change and adjustment of this hormone production does not work quickly, we usually feel very tired in the morning in the first few days after the time change and, on the other hand, feel much longer fitter in the evening. As a rule, our body has adapted to the new circumstances after a few days. However, some people continue to suffer from tiredness, problems falling asleep or depressive moods for up to two weeks and are less productive due to the disturbed sleep

      Hormonkonzentration Tagesablauf: Cortisol und Melatonin

      So that you can sleep well and get up refreshed despite the time change, here are five tips that you can use to help your body adapt to summer time.

      Also discover our tips for more relaxation before bed and which simple tricks you can start the day with more awake.

      Five sleep tips for the time change

      #1 Adjust sleep time early

      Schlaf-Tipps für die Zeitumstellung

      A regular sleep rhythm promotes healthy sleep As we get used to sleeping and waking times, it can be helpful to go to bed a little earlier on the days before the time change. It is best to start by going to sleep first a quarter of an hour, then half an hour and finally three quarters of an hour earlier. This is how you adjust to the missing hour bit by bit and gently prepare your body for the new sleeping time.

      #2 daylight and exercise in the fresh air

      Daylight not only controls the sleep-wake cycle, but also ensures increased production of the "happiness hormone" serotonin, which is converted into the sleep hormone melatonin in our brain as darkness increases. So try to spend as much time outside as possible, for example by going for long walks or doing sports. Exercising in the fresh air is not only beneficial for the hormonal balance, but also gets the circulation going, keeps you healthy and has a beneficial effect on falling asleep in the evening.

      #3 eat meals earlier

      Heavy digestive processes can hinder falling asleep and disrupt sleep. To prevent problems falling asleep, it can help to gradually bring your evening meal forward and eat it earlier than before in the week before the time change. Plan your last meal of the day at best 3 to 4 hours before going to bed and avoid heavy, greasy foods as well as caffeinated or high-sugar drinks. You can find more tips for a sleep-promoting diet here.

      #4 Forego the afternoon nap

      A quick nap or power nap at midday are, under normal circumstances, good ways to compensate for an acute lack of sleep and to recharge your batteries. But watch out! After the time change, it makes more sense not to take a nap during the day in order to increase sleep pressure in the evening and prevent problems falling asleep or a lack of tiredness.

      #5 Take time to adjust

      Ultimately, our body simply needs some time to adjust its internal clock to the new external rhythm and the shift in social time structure. Make the changeover easier for yourself by not planning too much stress in the days that follow and not unnecessarily filling up your schedule. And even if you don't fall asleep or stay asleep in the evening, you shouldn't try to sleep compulsively. This puts additional stress on your body, promotes cortisol release and keeps you awake longer.


      • The time change disturbs our inner clock, which regulates the hormone balance and controls our sleep-wake cycle.
      • Prepare for the time change by bringing your evening meal forward in the days before and gradually going to bed earlier.
      • Spend plenty of time in the daylight and fresh air to support hormone production and promote evening fatigue.
      • Forgo an afternoon nap so that the sleep pressure increases in the evening and you can fall asleep better
      • Give your body time to adapt and avoid unnecessarily many appointments, heavy loads and stress in the first few days.

      Greetings and see you soon!


      Leave a comment

      All comments are reviewed prior to publication