Daylight Saving Time and Sleep
Discover Ways to Adjust to the Time Change This Spring So You Can Snooze Comfortably
It’s that time of year again. As winter comes to a close and spring flowers begin to bloom, it’s time to turn your clocks forward one hour for Daylight Saving Time.
Unless you happen to live in Arizona or Hawaii, your day is about to get an hour shorter, which will impact your sleep. It’s likely to be an uphill struggle for a few days after losing that precious hour. Did you know that 6 out of 10 Americans need at least one day or more to recover from losing an hour of sleep, while nearly half of those Americans need a week or longer to recover? Ouch, that’s a lot of sleepy people.
Below are 8 sleep tips that will help you battle Daylight Saving Time grogginess and get better sleep all year long.
#1 Make a sleep promise to yourself – and stick with it!
Sure, it doesn’t seem like you should have to schedule sleep, but often it can fall to the bottom of the task list (especially when your day is shorter!). Prioritize sleep by having a set bedtime each day and then commit to following it. To prepare for Daylight Saving Time, try going to bed 10 minutes earlier in the few days leading up to it. Don’t just ignore the pending loss, make a plan for it so you get the sleep you need.
Tip: Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. You might consider creating a bedtime ritual to help you ease into sleep – like maybe taking a bath, reading a book, or even listening to soft meditation music before hitting the hay.
#2 Be hungry for sweet sleep
Those late-night snack attacks do happen; however, you shouldn’t always feed into your cravings. Eating and drinking shortly before bedtime will disrupt your sleep, because digestion wakes up your body while you’re trying to catch those zzz’s.
Tip: Finish meals and snacks about 2-3 hours before bedtime. It’s also important to limit caffeine intake to the morning and finish drinking alcohol by the early evening.
#3 Check your mattress for a swell slumber
A mattress really is the foundation of a great night’s sleep, because it’s what gets you through the night so you can feel refreshed the next day. After several years of use, though, your mattress may not provide you with the proper support you need for quality sleep.
Tip: A good rule of thumb to follow is if your mattress has hit the seven-year mark, it’s time you two have a serious heart-to-heart. If it has visible signs of overuse (rips, holes, visible tearing, etc.) or you’re constantly waking up with aches and pains, then you may want to consider replacing it.
#4 Be smart about exercise
Staying active during the day is not only beneficial to your overall health, but it helps your body sleep at night, too. Even taking a simple walk can get your blood flowing and improve your sleep.
Tip: Breathe in the fresh air, smell the roses and try to get outside for your daily exercise; exposing yourself to bright light during that time will help your body stay alert. Be sure to end your workouts at least two hours before bedtime, so your body has enough time to recover before you sleep.
#5 Unplug for better zzz’s
Having electronics in your room makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. Not only do they distract you from getting the quality sleep you need, but the blue light emitted by their screens stimulates your brain while you’re trying to sleep as well.
Tip: Your bedroom should serve as an oasis for amazing sleep – which means minimizing disturbances as much as possible. Keep laptops, smartphones, tablets and electronics out of reach and far away from you while you’re asleep.
#6 Go dark in the bedroom
Artificial light disrupts natural sleep, so your bedroom needs to be completely dark to encourage it. Plus, since you spend about 1/3 of your life on a mattress, don’t you want to make that space comforting and relaxing? That’s why it needs to be quiet, cozy and most importantly, DARK.
Tip: Consider purchasing room-darkening blinds to keep the light out at night or opt for a sleep mask.
#7 Cool it off
Your environment has a huge impact on your ability to sleep, and if you want to sleep better, make your bedroom welcoming for it. When it comes to your room’s temperature, it should be just cool enough so your body wants to sleep.
Tip: Set your thermostat to a temperature between 65-67 degrees at night for satisfying sleep.
#8 Try to keep stress out of the bedroom
Bringing the stresses of your job and life into the bedroom every night won’t allow you to sleep well. Instead of getting the rest it needs, your mind is tossing and turning with worry.
Tip: Yoga nidra is a type of yoga that relaxes muscles and brings the body and mind into tranquility, which is perfect each night before bed. For example, child’s pose is a simple position to do if you’re trying yoga for the first time. It relaxes the back and calms your nervous system, so you can ease into a good night’s sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your overall health, productivity and well-being. Follow these 8 sleep tips to make adjusting to Daylight Saving Time a breeze, so you can catch those zzz’s.
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This blog provides general information about sleep and sleep products. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified heath care professional. This blog should not be construed as medical advice or used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care professional. This blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health or the health of others. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or elsewhere on bettersleep.org. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.