The clocks turn back one hour at 2am this Sunday, November 1st, 2015. Which means you’ll have an extra hour in bed! While easier to adjust to the end of Daylight Saving, it can still be a little disorienting. Here are some tips to get you adjusted to the change.
1. Control the light
Light is one of the most important biological cues. Melatonin, a sleep inducing substance in the body, is activated in the dark. As soon as you are awake, make sure to let the light in, or turn lights on. Conversely, when it is time to go to bed, make sure to reduce or remove all light sources entirely. Night lights are great for bathroom trips, instead of the full glare of room lighting.
2. Put the phone away
Bedtime seems like a great time to check out Facebook, browse email, or play games on your phone, but staring at that screen can delay your sleep by an hour or more. That’s because LED screens on phones, tablets, and computers emit a bright blue light to help make them more visible in daylight. This light can inhibit the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and disrupt circadian rhythms.
Consider putting all LED emitting devices away at least an hour before going to sleep.
3. Control your caffeine and alcohol intake
Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with sleep-inducing chemicals in the body. A general rule of thumb is to avoid caffeine intake four to six hours before bedtime. However, this depends on how caffeine affects you.
Consider a relaxing herbal tea before bed. Herbal blends like Nite Cap and Chamomile Lavender have a soothing and calming effect.
In the morning, have a strong breakfast tea to help jumpstart the body. Caffeine will help fight fatigue, but is not a substitute for a poor night’s rest.
Alcohol can have a deceptive effect on sleep. While it can allow people to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply, it has a negative impact on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: or dream sleep. REM sleep is important for restoring the mind.
- How Sleep Is Affected by Time Changes: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/coping-with-time-changes
- Too much exposure to smartphone screens ruins your sleep, study shows: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/too-much-exposure-to-smartphone-screens-ruins-your-sleep-study-shows-10019185.html