Tips And Tricks For Getting Your Sleep Schedule In Check With The Clocks Change This Week
We're starting as we mean to go on
This weekend, Sunday the 27th is Daylight Saving Time, and this time of year it’s the bad one ie. we loose an hour of sleep.
Why we, as a society, can’t collectively agree to shift the moment the hour goes forward, to say 12pm on a Monday, is baffling. But alas, we’ll have to grin and bear it for now. The purpose of it is so that we gain an extra hour of sunlight in the evenings, which we can all admit is a welcome change.
Longer nights is something that can put a smile on anyone’s face, but sadly, it does come at a cost, of us being robbed a precious 60 minutes in bed. It can be challenging for our internal body clocks to adjust to the change. Here’s what you can do to try and avoid the sleep deprivation that might be on its way.
Start as you mean to go on
It may be tempting to stay in bed an extra hour in the morning to make up for the time you’ve lost. But, if you usually wake up at 10am, don’t set your alarm for 11am, continue to wake up at 10. It won’t be easy to hop up out of bed 1 hour down, but your body will be much more likely to catch onto the new routine quicker.
By waking up early, your body will be tired come bedtime, meaning you won’t be up until all hours and you’ll be well adjusted again by the time Monday morning rolls around.
Get some sunshine
I know, easier said than done in this country. But, with a bit of luck the sun *may* be shining in Ireland this weekend, even if it’s just for an hour or two. So make sure you soak up a few of those rays. Why? Because science says the more you expose yourself to light during the day, the quicker your biological clock will rest overnight.
But avoid screens at night
Come the evening time, turn your bedroom into a peaceful haven. First things first, you’ll probably want to avoid too much screen time. We don’t need another lecture on how blue light exposure can keep you awake at night, we know this by now. The best way to avoid blue light disruption is to avoid it for 60-90 minutes in the lead up to going asleep.
More than that, it’ll be brighter later into the evenings now too, so make the appropriate adjustments to your bedroom like blackout curtains and an eye mask to be sure that light isn’t bothering you as you dose off.
Think about what you consume
If heavy meals make you feel a bit sick before going to sleep, try to change up your eating habits, having dinner earlier or something lighter in the later hours.
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol are sometimes best avoided in the hours leading up to bedtime too as all of them can have a stimulating effect on the body. Meaning if you have a late-night mocha or vino, you could be paying for it later on in the night, keeping these as a special weekend treat might just be what you need to drift off peacefully during the school nights.
Pack up your troubles
When it comes around to going to bed, worrying about what to pack for the kid’s lunches and the emails left unopened in your inbox is not the best way to go about getting a good night’s sleep. Instead, try to switch your brain off in the lead-up to bedtime – compartmentalising is the key to getting through Daylight Saving Time.
Do whatever makes you feel relaxed, it could be having a hot bath, reading a book, listening to a podcast – whatever it is that makes you feel most zen, go forth and be sleepy.
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