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How to get through daylight saving time without feeling like a zombie

Annalise Mantz

Turns out, research backs up New York’s reputation as “the city that never sleeps.”  

Data collected by Jawbone, the wearable device maker, reveals that residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan stay up later than anywhere else in the country. That’s probably not surprising, considering that Time Out’s City Index survey shows New Yorkers go out 6.4 times a month on average—the most of any city surveyed.    

And come Sunday morning at 2am, we’re all going to lose an hour of sleep when the clocks spring forward for daylight saving time. So how can Gotham’s famously sleepless residents finally get some rest when all odds are against them? Learn to fall asleep earlier and get better sleep with these five tips to get you through the time change without feeling like the walking dead.

Put your smartphone away
Smartphones are integral to life in any big city, but especially NYC: They give us directions, order cars for us, connect to faraway friends and family and even help us get dates. The problem is, smartphones emit a particular type of blue light that can completely mess up our natural sleep cycle.

Before falling asleep on the night of daylight saving time, move your phone into the other room. Kick that nasty habit of scrolling Instagram in bed, and try not to look at your phone for an hour before turning in. If you really have to answer that late-night email, consider getting a light-blocking screen protector like the Tech Armor iPhone Retina Shield to minimize the disruption to your shuteye.

Turn off the stress
Not only are New Yorkers not getting enough sleep, but we also feel more stressed out than the rest of the country, according to statistics from the American Psychological Association. That’s a double whammy when it comes to sleep. At least try to do something relaxing—maybe use an essential oil diffuser for some aromatherapy, or cuddle up with a good book.

Block out any disruptive sounds or bright lights
Sound and light pollution is a real thing, people. Experts say that the more intensely lit your neighborhood, the worse you’ll sleep. So naturally, New Yorkers once again have the short end of the stick. If your blinds just don’t cut it, block out the glow of the street lights with a silk sleep mask. Some lightweight foam earplugs or a white noise machine might help you tune out the sounds of your neighbors fighting or the ambulance down the street, too.

Wake up with the sunrise
There is one kind of light that actually helps regulate your sleep cycle: natural light. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a massive, east-facing window in your apartment, the sun probably isn’t waking you up every morning. Fake it by getting a light-up alarm clock—the screen gradually brightens over a long period of time to wake you up slowly, instead of the abrupt screech of your phone alarm.

When all else fails, bust out the big guns
Really struggling to fall asleep? You might want to try an over-the-counter sleep aid, like melatonin. Though it’s not clinically proven, it might just help you get some shut-eye on an otherwise sleepless night.


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