BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) –  Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.
We are springing forward an hour and losing an hour of sleep, but, gaining an hour of sunlight. Losing an hour of sleep can have some people feel sluggish and tired.

Experts say that without preparation, the one-hour loss can take a day or two to adjust. One doctor says the best tip is to prepare by sending yourself to bed early, starting now.

“You need sleep to recover. You need sleep for your metabolism. If you sleep less than 6 hours a night, on average, you can get sick,” said Elizabeth Lejeune, a nurse practitioner at Ochsner Health.

In addition, experts say it’s not a good idea to eat big meals late. Lejune also recommends stopping drinking caffeine after noon and drinking less alcohol during the weekdays for better sleep.

Here are some more tips for your diet:

  • Passionflower tea has a long history of being used as both a sedative and an anti-anxiety remedy. Try drinking a cup an hour before bedtime. Passionflower is rarely the sole ingredient in tea – it’s usually incorporated into a blend. Choose a tea with at least 180 to 200 micrograms of passionflower, which is usually listed on the label. Gaia’s Sleep and Relax Herbal Tea is one option.
  • Carbs and protein should be eaten in combination. Proteins like turkey, chicken and milk contain tryptophan, which your body needs to make serotonin, which is used in making melatonin – a hormone that regulates sleep. Despite the myth, tryptophan won’t make you drowsy on its own. Carbs are crucial to serotonin levels. Try a dinner that blends carbs and protein like whole grain crackers with cheese, protein-rich cereal like Special K Protein with milk, Nature Valley protein bars, toast with peanut butter or cheese, or popcorn with a few nuts.
  • Cottage cheese with fruit is another carb-protein combo that can boost serotonin. Cottage cheese also has lots of casein, a slow-digesting protein that makes you feel fuller for longer. Casein also prevents the natural breakdown of valuable muscle mass while you sleep.
  • Kiwifruit may not be the most obvious sleep aid, but it’s packed with healthy compounds, including serotonin. Eating two about an hour before bedtime has been shown to improve the time needed to fall asleep, total sleep time and overall sleep quality. While there’s no guarantee that kiwifruit will make you sleep like a baby, it certainly doesn’t hurt, and every bit helps.
  • Spinach is a top source of magnesium, potassium and calcium, all of which can aid in healthy rest. Magnesium has been shown to improve falling and staying asleep, as well as with restless leg syndrome and nighttime muscle cramps. Potassium works with magnesium to promote muscle relaxation, and calcium helps produce melatonin. Try adding spinach to your dinner several nights a week, and see if it helps.