Thank you to Sleep Number for sponsoring this conversation
One of my least favorite days of the year is Daylight Savings Time. I don’t mind so much when the clocks go back, but when the clocks go forward? Ugh. It takes me a few days to get used to losing that extra hour. Thankfully there are a few ways to adjust quicker with this daylight savings sleep survival guide. And our friends at Sleep Number have provided a few more pointers as well.
Daylight Savings Sleep Survival Guide
A good night’s sleep is essential to your health and well being. When you lack sleep, it can affect every area of your life, from how you feel to how you perform in your day-to-day activities. Sleeping well should be something you put an effort into, and there are many things you can do to improve your sleep.
Exercise during the Day
One of the best ways you can prepare yourself for a night of great sleep is to exercise, and to do it early in the day. A consistent schedule of daily exercise will help you to exert energy and feel calm when it is time to retire for the night. Be cautious not to exercise immediately before bedtime as this can have the opposite effect of waking you up and making you feel more alert.
Play Relaxing Music
Music is a great mood enhancer. When using it for the purpose of falling asleep, play relaxing music such as soft classical, smooth jazz, or ambient music. Avoid anything too fast, loud, or with dramatic changes throughout. Make a playlist of songs which keep a consistent and soothing tempo and sounds and use it at bedtime.
Have a Consistent Bedtime Ritual
Being able to de-stress from the day is essential to getting a good night’s sleep. Make a bedtime routine for yourself and be consistent about it, as this will send a signal to your brain that it is time to get into sleep mode. In addition to the essentials, add in relaxing extras such as a few minutes of reading, journaling, stretching, eating a light snack, or taking a warm bath.
Maintain a Consistent Bedtime
Your body runs best when utilizing its natural sleep-wake cycle. A great way to encourage this is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Even on weekends and holidays, try to stick to your schedule as much as possible.
But, when Daylight Savings comes around, your sleep schedule might get thrown off. Here are a few more tips from Sleep Number for sleep survival:
15 more minutes According to new national sleep survey from Sleep Number, over half (54 percent) of the respondents don’t feel they are getting enough sleep to be at their best. And when we lose an hour of sleep due to DST beginning, that sleep loss is even more evident. To make the time adjustment easier, don’t boil the ocean; start going to bed 15 minutes earlier than the night before.
Live in the future. On Saturday, live your life as if it’s already an hour ahead. For example, drink your last cup of coffee at 11 am (because that is really noon). Since caffeine has an approximate half-life of 6 hours, you don’t want to consumer caffeine after noon as it may impede your sleep.
Put down the screens. Survey results indicate that people who use devices in bed are more likely to feel they don’t get enough sleep (51 percent). Always make a screen-free zone about an hour before bedtime, which gives the eyes and mind time to relax before getting shut-eye (and allows the sleep hormone melatonin to trigger sleepiness). People in the Western region of the U.S. are the biggest tech-in-bed offenders, with 66 percent of respondents bringing devices to bed.
Monitor sleep to improve it. Fifty-eight percent of people wish they knew more about how to improve the quality of their sleep, yet only 16 percent actually monitor their sleep (versus 41 percent who track exercise and 43 percent who track diet). And, women are more likely to focus on improving their sleep compared to men. Sleep Number’s SleepIQ technology offers a simple solution to those who want to know better sleep.
With these tips, hopefully the transition to Daylight Savings Time won’t be too bad.
What do you do to help ease the transition of losing one hour?