Springing forward in March isn’t easy.
You’ve gotten into a new rhythm since executing your New Year’s resolutions (or not), and come the morning of March 8, when your body clock wakes you up at 7, your alarm clock reads 8.
Even if you’re used to sleeping in, Daylight Savings Time can easily disrupt your schedule.
An examiner article points out that according to the New England Journal of Medicine, it can take people up to five days to adjust after a time shift.
Plus, the National Institute of Health reports that 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by sleep disorders.
So, it’s pretty much safe to assume when we all lost an hour of sleep this weekend, it sucked for a lot of people.
You can rest assured today's Monday blues are especially dark for most of us.
Alas, the Internet offers its undying help. If you’re one of those suffering from changing the clock, here’s what you can do to improve your week:
Get up and get out.
In spring, we get less light in the morning and more light in the evening.
To combat this, Dr. Alfred Lewy, director of Oregon Health and Science University's Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory in Portland, OR, suggests, getting direct early morning sunlight.
This “helps the brain's sleep-wake cycle line up with the next light-dark cycle."
The articles states this sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, gets reset by our brains each day. It assists in expediting the process by adjusting the amount of sunlight our eyes take in and can help the body feel more in sync.
Go outside for a walk ASAP to get the process moving along faster.
Set your bedroom up for success.
Keep the blinds and curtains closed; keep noise levels down, and keep the temp in the high 60s, Dr. Yoseph Krespi, Director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and Dr. Evalina Grayver, Director of the Coronary Care Unit at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, New York told CBS News.
Keep your room sacred: "A bedroom is for sleeping, not watching TV or doing challenging crossword puzzles," says Krespi.
Just as we eliminate junk food in hopes of watching belly fat disappear, we should cut out the things detrimental to our sleep if we’d like to get some. WebMD says it’s all about keeping it clean with sleep hygiene.
“Basic sleep hygiene includes reducing or eliminating caffeine and alcohol, exercising several hours before bedtime, creating calming rituals before bed to gradually relax yourself (taking a hot bath for example) and wearing ear plugs and eye masks, to name a few.”
Lavender bath salts and eye masks? Yes, please!
Next time, plan ahead.
We spring forward and fall back each year; not letting the time change take you by surprise is more than half the battle.
Make a plan to either go to bed one hour earlier when you spring forward, or push yourself to stay up an hour later before falling back, in order to avoid disrupting your usual sleep schedule.
Freeing your schedule up to stay in an hour later in the spring, or setting the alarm clock one hour earlier than usual in the fall, would work, too. Just be sure to return to your normal sleep cycle after the time change has taken place.
Tip: Clocks get set back Sunday, November 1 this fall. Plug it into your calendar and set up a reminder now!