The end of daylight savings can wreak havoc on your usual routine, thanks to its impact on your sleep schedule. When the clocks change an hour, in either direction, it affects your circadian rhythm, or the setting and resetting of your internal clock. When that happens, your internal clock can end up out of step with the day to night cycle. You might feel extra tired, a little sluggish, and just generally out of sorts. But, there are a few things you can do to make sure the time change doesn’t get the best of you. Read on for a tool kit on coping with the change.
Starting your evening routine, which usually kicks off with dinner time, is a great way to ease into the change. Also, eating dinner too close to bedtime can give you a boost of energy that might keep you awake. Try to give yourself a good three hours between finishing dinner and your bed time.
This is a new rule for modern sleep hygiene, and it’s especially important when daylight savings ends. You don’t need any more interference with your circadian rhythm courtesy of artificial light, so put your phone and tablet away at least an hour before bedtime. Turn off the TV, too, and instead opt for a book to close out your nighttime routine.
Going to bed and waking up at the same every day is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep, every night. You might be tempted to use the extra hour in the evening work or other activities, but keep going to bed at the same time. That applies to weekends, as well. Having a lie in might seem like a good idea to catch up on missed sleep through the week, but again, it can throw off your sleep schedule. And every night, try your best to get between seven and eight hours of sleep.
You’ve now got an extra hour of sunlight in the morning, so why not use it to kickstart your day with a quick jog or yoga session? Taking your work out outside is especially beneficial, because exposure to natural light first thing in the morning can elevate your mood. Also, if it’s a bit frosty outside, that will help you wake up.
If you’re feeling tired, you might be tempted to negate that with an extra cup of coffee or two throughout the day. While that may work to temporarily relieve your grogginess, it might inhibit your sleep. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to eight hours, so if you go to bed at 10 p.m., cut yourself off from coffee at 2 p.m.
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