With daylight saving time just around the corner—March 12th at 2 AM, to be exact—adjusting your sleep habits may come natural to you. For some of us, though, this time of the year can be a huge challenge. And while that group of people may loathe the person that legislated the idea of daylight saving time (Woodrow Wilson, FYI), there are also many lifestyle changes that can be made to improve their quality of life during those long months.
To minimize the side-effects of daylight saving time, one of the easiest things to incorporate in your daily routine (in theory) is going to bed a bit earlier. WebMD says that, truthfully, what time you choose to go to sleep is strictly up to the individual. For some it could be ten-to-fifteen minutes earlier, but for others, 45 minutes to an hour may be needed. Be wary of this idea, however, as this might make it harder for you to wake up if you’re currently only getting around five-to-six hours a night.
If going to bed a bit earlier won’t help, try altering your “sleep atmosphere” and improving your “sleep hygiene.” One of these methods is to design your room into a “hygienic-sleeping atmosphere.” This atmosphere that you create can be as simple or extravagant as you wish. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) offers some great ideas for improving your sleep atmosphere. Consider dimming the lights in your bedroom an hour before you plan to go to bed. For example, if you’re goal is to go to sleep at 10 PM, be in your bed or bedroom by 9 PM with the lights dimmed, curtains drawn, and brightness dimmed on all electronic devices. Keeping your room cool is also just as important. Researchers have found that a room that’s anywhere from 60 to 67 degrees is optimal for sleeping. Finally, consider buying a “sound conditioner” or fan. These items help create a constant noise at the same level of volume and pitch, helping to keep you asleep.
To maintain sleep hygiene, the NSF recommends exercising at least for ten minutes a day. Around 30 minutes to an hour would be best, but anything can help ensure you quickly fall asleep. Also, be sure to limit caffeine and nicotine use before bed, and limit daytime naps to 30 minutes. Sticking to this advice can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you’re having major trouble with adapting to daylight saving time, be sure to have a talk with your doctor. They will be to offer some solutions so that you can get back on track.
If you have any questions about sleep hygiene, sleep atmosphere, or mattresses, be sure to give Beautyrest Sleep Gallery a call! We’ve been in the Ozarks for over 20 years, and we’re ready to help you get the sleep you deserve.