Hey, shift happens! But if you’ve been having a difficult time adjusting to the time change, you’re not alone.
I go to sleep roughly around the same time every night and like clockwork, my body promptly wakes me up at the same time each morning. The problem being that my internal body clock (circadian rhythms) was as unaware of daylight savings time as I was this year. This has meant some late nights and sleeping in more into the day. It has also left me feeling a little drowsier than normal. In fact, daylight savings has been proven to significantly affect our wellbeing from reducing productivity to increasing the risk of automobile accidents.
With the clocks springing forward however, we rest assured that spring is on its way and we have had a beautiful week to prove it. Now we just need to be awake and energized to fully enjoy it!
Here is your survival guide 1:01 with four ways to rock your internal daylight savings clock:
- Cellphones, computers, t.v.s etc. emit blue light which stimulates our brain and inhibits the release of melatonin (our natural sleep hormone). As natural melatonin secretion occurs around 9-10pm, use this time to disconnect from your technology and connect through calming activities such as mediation or yoga that promote a deep, restorative sleep.
2. Don’t fear the dark
- Optimal melatonin secretion can only happen in complete darkness. This means that even the soft light from the street or the little light from your alarm clock can dampen your penal gland’s melatonin production. Cover the lights, use blackout blinds or a face mask.. anything to get total darkness!
3. Stimulate with sunlight
- The best way to optimise our sleep cycles is to use the natural sunlight. Light is what triggers the proper release of melatonin. When it becomes dark, we are naturally stimulated to sleep, when it is light out, we are stimulated for alertness. To make this happen, set an alarm for the time you wish to wake up each morning and open your curtains to let the light shine through. Even if you need to lay back down for a bit, this will help to transition your body into its new schedule.
- The powerful remedy to quickly and efficiently regulate sleep cycles. This will assist in quickly setting your internal clock (it is also my secret weapon to jet lag!). You want to take one every night approximately thirty minutes to one hour before you want to go to sleep.
- Melatonin used infrequently can be a valuable tool in setting your body back on course. However, it should not be used as a band-aid to cover up larger issues. If you find that you are reliant on the pills to get a good night sleep, there are bigger issues that need to be addressed. It is also important to note that supplementing with melatonin for too long may cause your body to stop producing much of this hormone on its own. Moderation is always the key!
Hey, shift happens! But though daylight savings can be incredibly taxing on our bodies, it is that step closer to spring and summer and can help to reduce seasonal affective disorder and with these tips, you will be well on your way to a deeper sleep this week!
Clocking up a restful sleep,