Daylight savings, well, we all know, it impacts us bi-annually, that is, there’s no getting away from it! So, what to do to minimize the negative impact (Did you know heart attacks have a spike at this time)? That “spring ahead” thing in spring, well, it directly cuts into our sleep, our well-being, and our general demeanor (decreased tolerance). The thought that spring is close is exciting. The thought of a 23 hour day that doesn’t cut our awake activities but takes a chunk off our sleep, is the issue.
A few things to keep in mind this week: 10 points on coping with Springing ahead and not feeling flat.
1. Sleep hygiene: create calming rituals before bed to gradually relax yourself like taking a warm shower or bath, putting in ear plugs to drown out unwanted noise or to wear an eye mask to block out the remaining daylight.
2. Avoid taking naps. If you have to take them, take them early and for no longer than 20 minutes. An exception… you are allowed and should sleep as you want the day after the change.
3. Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages four to six hours before bedtime. (My boyfriend disagrees but this is solid advice)
4. Alcohol also prohibits you from getting quality sleep, so avoid it late at night. Especially, the night before the change, really, avoid the ethanol!
5. Staying consistent with the amount of sleep you get each night helps, too – that includes weekends.
6. Keeping to your schedule, whether it’s fall or spring. Keep things as close to normal as possible. Have a good nighttime ritual and avoid screen time right before bed.
7. Give yourself more time to adjust before the workweek begins, if possible, reset your clocks at the start of the weekend, like Friday night or Saturday morning. Allowing yourself and family more time to adjust to the time change.
8. Exercise. Working out releases serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps our bodies adjust. Exercise regularly, preferably outdoors, and early in the day. A brisk morning walk is perfect. Avoid exercising too late in the evening though, as this could interfere with the quality of your sleep.
9. Digest. After the time changes, you may be hungry for meals earlier or later than before. Be sure to give yourself ample time to digest your dinner before heading off to bed.
10. Try to spend time outside during the day, if possible. Dim the lights in the evening, so that your body understands that it’s time to wind down.