This Sunday is when we “Spring Forward” and we lose a whole hour of sleep. Many studies conclude that there are harsh mental, physical, and internal health impacts created when sleep-deprived, especially during this time of year.
Some usual common side-effects of losing an hour are tiredness throughout the day, grogginess, and even a jet-lagged feeling. Not to worry, here are a few tips you can do to prepare and ease into the new time change, instead of just “springing” into it.
Tip #1 Gradually Change Your Bedtime
Some of us can find it difficult to go to bed early, especially for those who work exceptionally long hours, but gradually going to bed early, will help your body adapt much easier to the new time. You will not feel as tired and you will even be more ready for work Monday morning.
Tip #2 High Energy Activities Before the Time Change
The goal is to exert as much energy throughout the day so you can get a deeper night’s sleep. The best thing to do is to keep yourself busy on Saturday before moving your clocks forward. You can accomplish this by working out and if you already follow a fitness routine, extend your workout session to expel more energy than usual. Another simple task is taking a long walk in the evening, a few hours before preparing for bed. By doing so, you can fall asleep earlier, quickly, and ease through the time difference.
Tip #3 Caffeine in the Morning
If you must have caffeine, make sure you drink it in the morning. An afternoon cup of Joe sounds good when you need a little extra push to get through the day. Resist! Caffeine is known to suppress a few things like hunger and sleep so it has the great potential to throw your body off its natural state and needs. Try to limit your caffeine to the first half of your day so your body can then relax fully and prep for sleep at night.
Tip #4 Have a Proper Sleep Environment
Sleep is essential for good overall health. Therefore, creating the perfecting setting is primal full night’s sleep. Make sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool to promote a relaxed state. Also avoid any use of electronics such as watching TV, using your cellphone or tablet while lying in bed, right before falling asleep. These gadgets emit a blue light that also suppresses sleep by lowering melatonin levels. By turning your bedroom into the place for perfect relaxation after a long day, you can accomplish for better-uninterrupted sleep.
Tip #5 Expose Yourself to Natural Light
After changing the time, try to get as much daylight exposure. Natural sunlight helps regulate your circadian rhythm, also known as your internal body clock. Light of day triggers the body to stay awake and the darkness from the night actually promotes production of melatonin for sleep.
The best thing we can do to protect our health is to prepare and help adjust our bodies for the change. We can begin now by developing better sleep habits for healthier life longevity.