Springing Forward with the Time Change: Five Actions You Can Do This Year to Sleep Better
Sleep is perhaps one of the body’s most essential functions. If you fail to get enough of it, the human body can be unforgiving and respond in any number of ways ranging from exhaustion and inexplicable sleepiness to unwanted weight gain and bouts of depression.
Every year, we spring ahead just before the official season change and the loss of a single hour leaves many Americans longing for their beds and some, even when they get there, they may struggle to find sleep due to the expectation of trying to achieve sleep within an hour earlier from their usual bedtime.
There are a few steps you can take to manage this unwanted sleep deprivation.
Here are five tips to get you started.
Image Source: Shutterstock/ AndreyPopov
Spring Forward, But Watch Those Naps!
According to an article published in Health Day, experts recommend that you might consider avoiding the appeal of a good nap. Napping could have an impact on your sleep schedule later in the evening and therefore, decrease the number of naps you invest in during those first few days after the time change may prove beneficial for helping you to adjust your sleep patterns.
Modify Your Caffeine Intake After the Time Changes
Often, experts will recommend that if you are having difficulty sleeping, you should examine your eating and drinking habits carefully. Caffeine should not be a component of your evening habits. This statement means that you may have to look deep within yourself to change your beverage choices and move away from caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee or sodas.
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Start that Exercise Regimen or Boost the One You Have After the Time Change
The following idea may seem counter intuitive, but if you find yourself overly alert in the evenings, it could be that you are not getting enough exercise. If you are contemplating introducing an exercise regimen into your day to day schedule, now just might be the best time to get it going. For those of you who are already active, this just may be the time to change things up a bit and participate in a personal or group challenge.
Clean Your Sleep Area
Time changes are a excellent time to reassess your sleep environment and get rid of the clutter –or those things that might disrupt your sleep hygiene. This action includes removing those disruptive electronics like notebooks and laptops from your sleep space. Splurge on some new bed sheets and duvet covers. Boost the comfort level of your current sleep chamber by enhancing the ambiance.
Don't Obsess Over Lost Sleep
Finally, if you experience a bit of a rough start this season, do not obsess over lost sleep. It’s okay to feel a bit sluggish during the first days of the time change. Give your body time to adjust to the change.