nurses4wellness blog.

Spring Forward Without Falling Back on Sleep

(Courtesy of n.kuzma- Flickr Creative Commons)

I can’t believe Daylight Savings Time is this Saturday already! While I’m really looking forward to longer and warmer days, I’m not looking forward to losing an hour of sleep. For most people, losing an hour of sleep just means you’ll have a groggy Monday, but research indicates that any change to your sleep routine (even losing just an hour) takes a heavy toll on your overall health and productivity. According to a Swedish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, the risk of heart attack increases the days following spring Daylight Savings.

To reset your sleep habits and ease into the transition, try these tips:

1) Try going to bed earlier tonight 

The earlier you go to bed during the nights leading up to Daylight Savings, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep the days following. Going to bed early also makes it easier for you to wake up earlier.

2) Set your clock ahead before you go to sleep

According to Health Magazine, it’s better to move your clock forward before you go to bed. This way you lose an hour while you’re still awake instead of when you are fast asleep. Also, when you set your clock forward, make sure to go to bed at your normal time. This will help regulate your sleep pattern.

3) Don’t hit the snooze!

During the week following Daylight Savings Time, don’t hit the snooze button. As much as you don’t want to, drag yourself out of bed right when your alarm goes off. Exposing yourself to sunlight as soon as possible will tell your body to stop producing melatonin (our natural hormone that makes us feel tired).

4) Quit the caffeine

The week of the time change, make sure to stop drinking caffeine by 2pm.

5) Exercise

Exercise has been linked to better sleep quality. Be as active as you can the week before and after Day Light Savings, so you will sleep more soundly through out the night.

If you find yourself having trouble winding down before bedtime, please try our 20-minute guided Calming Breath Meditation program.

 

 

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