Daylight Savings Time comes around twice every year, and every time it takes our bodies time to adjust. While an hour may not seem like much to gain or lose, we certainly feel this change for the few days following Daylight Savings. Changes in daylight can affect our sleeping patterns, energy levels, and motivation, all of which play key roles in our day-to-day lives. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prepare your body for this adjustment. Continue reading for some tips on getting a good rest and feeling energized to help you ease into new daylight hours.
It may be tempting to change your sleep schedule with new sunlight hours, but it’s important to stick to the pattern your body has gotten used to overtime. To keep yourself on track, it may be helpful to set alarms for when it is time to wake up and head to bed. For the first few days after the time change, you may even opt to set alarms to help yourself stick to other areas of your schedule, like eating and exercising.
Monitor Screen Time
Electronics’ high-intensity light stimulates your brain and obstructs melatonin, a hormone that triggers sleepiness. While winding down with some time on your phone or tablet may sound like a relaxing way to end the day, doctors recommend putting these devices away and instead opting for a book to calm your body down. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try getting out of bed for a change of environment and meditating or journaling. If you have work to do on an electronic device in the evening, ask your doctor about blue light glasses, which can help to block the intense light that projects off of these screens.
Monitor Naps and Caffeine
Sticking to your schedule is crucial in getting your body adjusted to new hours. A nap during the daytime may seem like an easy solution, but it will only make falling asleep during normal nighttime hours that much harder. If you really feel like you need the rest, naps should be kept under 20 minutes and should be done as far away from bedtime as possible. Just as tempting as naps may be extra caffeine throughout the day. To ensure you are getting high quality sleep and to avoid problems falling asleep altogether, try to stop consumption several hours before bedtime.
Create a Routine
If you don’t already have a morning and nighttime routine, now is a good time to create one. Routines are a comfort and can help control our stress levels. According to Shalini Paruthi, a board-certified sleep-medicine specialist and codirector of the St. Luke’s Sleep Medicine and Research Center in St. Louis, stimulates your brain are 15 to 30 minutes long and can help transition the brain from an energetic mindset to a calmer one. Just as useful during the adjustment of daylight savings could be a morning routine. A tip for this time of day is to try to incorporate natural sunlight when you can, such as opening the windows or exercising outdoors. The sunshine helps wake your body up!
Plan Your Weekend Out and Start Prepping
Knowing that your night of rest from Saturday to Sunday will be affected, plan in advance how you will be spending each day. You may want to aim for more activity on Saturday to help tire yourself out. If you have errands to run, any home maintenance work, or social commitments, try to get them finished on Saturday, as you should plan for a more leisurely Sunday. By knowing what your weekend plans are, you can get yourself prepared, start or continue your routines, and better control any stress that may come with having to adjust your sleep schedule. Give yourself some time to get used to the adjustment, and try to be mindful of sleep deterrents that are already part of your routine that could make daylight savings time harder on you.
Now that you know a bit more about Daylight Savings and how it can affect your body, we hope that you’ll take our tips to heart. Getting enough sleep and staying energized during the day will help make the adjustment period smoother. Riddle Village is dedicated to providing helpful tips and you can contact us to visit our wonderful community.