October 16, 2017
How to Protect Your Sleep from the End of Daylight Saving
On November 5th, Daylight Saving will end and time will shift back one hour. If you usually go to bed at 10 pm the clock will now read 9 pm, which means that you will be hitting the sheets an hour later than your body is used to. Similar to jet lag, this time change confuses our sleep-wake cycle and inevitably has an affect on our schedules and routines. Here are four tips that will help you program your body clock in advance!
- Adjust Your Body Clock Incrementally
Small changes to your evening routine can help your body prepare for the time change beforehand. Start by trying to eat dinner a little later each day during the week prior. Then, also tuck-in 15 minutes later than your usual bedtime. Continue to adjust each of these nightly activities by 15 minutes each day and your sleeping routine will be in sync with the new time right when the clocks shift.
- Turn the Lights Down Low
A simple trick to winning the battle between Mother Nature and your alarm clock is to adjust the lighting in your house; because your internal clock influenced by the light in your environment. Darkness triggers the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates your body’s sleep cycles. So, when it gets dark, your body releases melatonin that makes you feel drowsy. By dimming the lights an hour before you want to go to sleep you can help calm your body and get it ready for sweet dreams.
- Keep Food and Drinks Light at Night
Hands off that extra cup of coffee or wine! Both caffeine and alcohol have been shown to interfere with your sleep cycle. So, it’s especially important to limit your intake of coffee, strong teas or alcohol during the evening to avoid sabotaging your sleep when the clock shifts back an hour. Also try keep dinner portions light before bedtime. Heavy meals fire up your metabolism which in turn keeps you awake.
- Redecorate Your Sleep Sanctuary
As the season changes and temperatures drop outside it is important to adjust your bedroom environment inside as well. Several variables work together to create an optimal setting for good sleep. In addition to light and noise, the temperature in your bedroom is also a very important factor that can either disrupt or support good sleep. Replace your bedspread with a warmer comforter—such as a down or wool blanket—and get your cozy PJs out of the closet. Since you won’t change your mattress seasonally, choose a bed with materials that help you maintain a comfortable temperature year-round.
Adjusting to the time change has different effects on everyone. While some people barely notice that the clocks shifted an hour back, others take weeks to recover their sleep schedules. However, if you have a good sleep environment and a healthy sleep routine, turning back the clock one hour will be more manageable with a few proactive adjustments.