How does daylight saving time affect our bodies?
The time has arrived to "fall back" an hour.
For many, this change in schedule presents a possible disruption in sleep. Your circadian rhythm, the body's internal process of regulating sleep-wake cycles, can easily be disturbed, resulting in poor sleep.
Benefits of Good Sleep
Getting good sleep is important. It offers:
- Better memory and learning
- More energy
- Increased focus and performance
- Improved immunity
- Better metabolism
- Happier moods and less irritability
- Higher motivation
- Reduced stress
- Decreased risk of disease
Great news - there are some very effective tips and tricks that can make adjusting to daylight saving time, and getting good sleep, easier.
Tips for Adjusting your Circadian Rhythm
1. Adjust the sleep schedule slowly – While moving bedtime an hour one way or the other can feel like a big change, 15 minutes may not. Adjust your bedtime by 15 minutes at a time and ease into a new sleep schedule.
2. Be consistent – Once the desired sleep schedule is reached, be consistent. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is one of the best ways to regulate your body’s sleep cycle. You may even consider skipping the daylight savings time adjustment and just changing your bedtime schedule by one hour. You would be sticking with the sleep pattern your body is already accustomed to.
3. Take naps – If feeling sleepy, take a nap. Experts do not recommend napping in the morning or evenings, as this may contribute to throwing off the body’s circadian rhythm.
4. Create a welcoming sleep space – Set up your bedroom to be a place where you can best find good sleep. Minimize the noise and light and control the temperature. The National Sleep Foundation suggests sleeping is a cool room (between 60 – 67 degrees). Remove distractions such as phones and televisions. Some find darkening curtains or calm music to be helpful. Choose comfortable pillows, mattresses, and sheets and keep the room uncluttered.
5. Avoid electronics before bed – Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes for bedtime. Blue light that is emitted by electronic devices limits the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls our circadian rhythm. Screen use also keeps our mind engaged when it could be relaxing and preparing for sleep.
6. Get more light – Get plenty of bright light during the day to improve the circadian rhythm. Spend time outdoors when it is sunny and/or invest in a sun lamp to be used indoors.
7. Limit caffeine – Caffeine provides energy and alertness. It should be used in moderation and avoided in the afternoon and evening as it does interfere with the quality and quantity of sleep.
8. Create a bedtime routine – Doing the same things each evening as bedtime approaches signals the body that it is time to sleep. Ideas include a warm bath, dimming the lights, or participating in stretching or meditation. A routine could include calm music, reading, or a mind puzzle like Sudoku. Bedtime routines allow the mind to let go of the stresses and worries of the day.
9. Exercise – Participating in daily exercise encourages deeper, more restful sleep. More vigorous exercise should be done earlier in the day while stretching and meditation may be perfect right before bed.
10. Avoid alcohol – Alcohol alters the natural melatonin production and can make falling asleep difficult. Stay away from alcohol when bedtime is getting close.
11. Take a natural sleep supplement – Web MD lists several tired and true sleep aids, including melatonin, lavender, and chamomile. Melatonin, one of the most popular sleep aids, may provide improved sleep quality, shorter falling asleep time and better daily energy.
ENP’s Restorative Slumber is fortified with melatonin and other natural ingredients designed to provide a restorative night of rest. It comes in a delicious chocolate-mint flavor, and can be kept right by the bed.
B vitamins play an important role in creating the hormones that help regulate mood and sleep patterns.
It is possible to navigate daylight saving time gracefully, without too much disruption to sleep. Follow these effective tips to make getting good sleep easier.
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Important Reasons to Get Your Beauty Sleep. (2020, January 21). Retrieved from https://effectivenaturalproducts.com/blogs/healthy-living/important-reasons-to-get-your-beauty-sleep
Mawer, R. (2018, November 2). 17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better#section1.
Natural Sleep Aids & Supplements. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-natural-sleep-remedies.
Top 10 Tips for Getting Better Sleep. (2020, January 13). Retrieved from https://effectivenaturalproducts.com/blogs/healthy-living/top-10-tips-for-getting-better-sleep