Tips for surviving the Daylight Savings time change


Tips for surviving the Daylight Savings time change Disturbances to our natural circadian rhythms with the turning back of the clocks this time of year can interfere with our own internal clocks and our ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Many other aspects of our day contribute to disrupting this rhythm, such as spending longer periods indoors in front of the bright lights of the television, computer or tablet. With so much to keep us occupied in the evenings, it’s hard to unwind and just relax.

Circadian rhythms are very sensitive to light and too much exposure can affect the production of your goodnight sleep hormone – melatonin. This calming and sleep-inducing hormone regulates the sleep-wake cycle and relies on the setting of the sun and darkness to maintain optimum levels. The lack of light during the day in the autumn, and our overstimulation by artificial light at night disrupts our internal clock, often leading to sleep disturbances.

How to boost melatonin and improve sleep

  • In the morning, wake up to as much light as possible. Open the blinds and get outside as soon as you can.
  • During the day, try to get outside, open your office blinds and if possible, use full-spectrum bulbs at your work station.
  • If you find yourself commuting to work in the dark, it’s extra important to get out into the sunlight during the day, if possible without sunglasses for part of the time.
  • In the evening, use as much low light as possible. Also, turn off the television, computer, or tablet at least 1 ½ hours before bed. Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible – you will want to cover the glow from electrical displays. Wearing a sleep mask is another way to ensure darkness.

The most noticeable shift will come right after Daylight Savings and the time change. For those two weeks after the transition to Daylight Savings there are greater reports of daytime drowsiness, car accidents, workplace accidents, and overall malaise and sadness in people.

Tips for surviving the Daylight Savings time change

  • Have a good sleep routine in place, including daily wake-up and bed times.
  • If you can, in the week leading up to the time change, start going to bed and waking up 10 minutes later.
  • On the night of Daylight Savings, change all the clocks in your home early in the evening. This way you can mentally prepare for the change. As well, eat dinner according to the new schedule, and stay consistent with your usual bedtime routine.
  • Try to keep your exercise routine, especially when Daylight Savings begins.

When you take a closer look at all of the environmental and physical factors affecting your sleep, you can understand why millions of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep.

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