Daylight Savings Sleep Tips
During every second Sunday in March, our clocks go forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time, making our mornings darker and our nights brighter. For eight months of the year, every day lasts a little longer, having more effects on our sleeping habits than we realize. Not only are we affected by losing one hour of sleep when the clock goes forward, but our circadian rhythm, or biological clock, is also disrupted.
Circadian rhythms essentially control the body’s internal clock, influenced by sunlight and darkness. During its 24-hour cycle, our circadian rhythm regulates when we wake up and go to sleep. When the clock goes forward, our circadian rhythm clashes with the human-made social calendar, preventing our bodies from adjusting themselves to the sun’s new hours .
Essentially, the time to leave the house for work or school does not change, and our circadian rhythm doesn't get the memo. Since it correlates with environmental cues, we are unable to fall asleep earlier in the night, and it is more difficult to wake up in the morning while it is still dark.
However, just as our bodies eventually adjust to the change, Daylight Savings Time ends. Our clocks fall back in November, gaining the hour that we lost back in March. Even though our circadian rhythm has the ability to be restored, the time it takes our bodies to readjust also causes negative impacts on our sleep cycle.
Luckily, we have gathered a series of tips to help your body make the transition both into Daylight Savings Time and out into Standard Time. Keep reading to help adjust your internal clock!
Gradually Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
In order to lessen the blow of losing an hour of sleep, try going to sleep a couple of minutes earlier every day during the week before Daylight Savings Time. By gradually setting back your bedtime by 10-15 minutes every couple of nights, you’ll be getting a bit more sleep during that week, and avoiding being dramatically affected by the final change on Sunday.
Gradually setting your bedtime back can be extremely beneficial, especially for those who do not get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Losing too much sleep can negatively affect your behavior, as well as your physical and mental health. We all know how we feel when we’re sleepy, and most of the time it is not a pleasant feeling. Hopefully, this can help!
Take a Nap
If you are unable to get to bed any earlier than usual, you can try to make up for the lost hour of sleep by taking a nap throughout the day. Even though naps are generally disrupting to our circadian rhythms, it would be beneficial to take one for the lost hour of sleep later that night. As previously mentioned, taking a nap would be especially beneficial to those who do not get enough sleep during the night, because losing another hour is detrimental to one’s health.
Invest in Comfortable Bedding
Bedding is too often overlooked when considering the factors that affect our quality of sleep. Uncomfortable bedding made of different materials can affect our skin and allergies, and even cause night sweats, disrupting our sleep schedule by waking us up in the middle of the night.
But don’t fret! Cosy House has you covered. The Luxury Bed Sheets provide comfort with lightweight and soft fabrics, made from a bamboo viscose blend with thermal-regulating properties. Say goodbye to night sweats, because these sheets will balance your body temperature to keep you cool throughout the night. Not only will you sleep in cloud-like softness, but you’ll also avoid waking up in a sweat! No more disruptions and better sleep.
Additionally, for a warmer and cozier sleep, our Luxury Down Alternative Comforter delivers all-night comfort. Its bamboo viscose and microfiber material repels common household non-living allergens, helping you sleep peacefully with no stuffy nose or disruptions. Feel well-rested even when losing an hour of the day!
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are known to help prepare the body for sleeping. By releasing energy and establishing a routine at night, your body will recognize it is time to sleep and begin winding down. Some relaxation techniques that help you soothe your senses to sleep better include:
- Essential oils
- Performing a skincare routine
- Reading a book
Try Pushing Back Dinner
If you have a set dinnertime every night, you can try pushing it back by one hour. This way, your body can speed up the digestion process and it will be ready for bed at an earlier hour. Additionally, try to avoid a heavy dinner, spicy foods, and alcohol before bedtime. Our bodies are negatively impacted by these foods through acid reflux and high sugar content that interrupt sleep during the night.
Start Your Day With Sunlight
When our circadian rhythm is thrown off, you can try to start off your day with sunlight. This causes your body to recognize it is daytime, allowing it to wake up naturally. Additionally, being exposed to sunlight for even 15 minutes allows for the suppression of melatonin, keeping the sleeping hormone away and waking you up for the rest of the day . You can expose yourself to sunlight through the following activities:
- Going on a morning walk
- Reading a book outside
- Meditating outdoors
When it comes to shifting from Daylight Savings Time back to Standard Time, the transition is a bit easier. Because this shift results in an additional hour of sleep, most people might feel refreshed when waking up. However, even this shift may cause negative effects on people, such as having difficulty waking up or having their sleep disrupted by the sunlight. Although the circadian rhythm is adjusting itself back to its regular schedule, it might take some time to fully adjust back.
Whether you’re trying to adjust to Daylight Savings or to Standard Time, your sleep needs to be prioritized. When losing an hour of sleep, it is crucial to your health and well-being to gain back that hour of sleep and adjust your body in the mornings. Establishing a sleeping routine during DST can help you avoid feeling groggy for a full 8 months. On the opposite end, gaining one hour of sleep when shifting back to Standard Time can feel refreshing at first, but the change can still be difficult on your body over time.
From bed sheets to meditation, using these tips can make the transition easier on you and your internal clock.
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