Daylight Savings

Spring ahead, fall  back. Twice a year we change the clocks to either gain or lose an hour of beloved sleep. We wind the clocks back in the fall and gain that much needed extra hour of shut eye. In the spring, we lose an hour and are all of a sudden sent into a tailspin of rushed obligations and sleep deprivation. Understandably, it is easier to get accustomed to that extra hour in the fall – or so we think. Any time change can throw the body off balance, and changing the clock in the fall makes our days shorter and the nights longer with people getting up an hour earlier than they are used to.

It takes about a week to adjust to the shift during daylight savings time for both the fall and spring. Meanwhile, here are some tips you can start in advance to make the transition a bit easier.

  • Start adjusting ahead of schedule
    • Adjust your sleep schedule by 10-15 minutes for a few days before the end of Daylight Savings Time.
  • Exercise
    • Although it is easy to give in the snooze button, waking up to exercise is a good way to kickstart the day. Exercising, particularly in the morning, releases serotonin in the brain, which helps the body adapt to the time change.
  • Wake up at the same time
    • Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps regulates the body. After a while, your body will get used to the rhythm of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
    • This one should be simple. Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep. If you already have trouble falling asleep, avoiding these two items can aid in sleep.
  • Resist the nap
    • It is best to avoid taking a nap during Daylight Savings Time, because it may make falling asleep for the night more difficult. If you really can’t avoid a nap, it is recommended to take a power nap that is no longer than 20 minutes.
  • Avoid late night snacking
    • Eating too late at night can cause indigestion, which may lead to insomnia as your stomach works over time to digest. It is best to finish dinner a few hours before bedtime.
  • Relax
    • If all else fails, it is important to remember to relax. Stressing and worrying about not being able to fall asleep can actually keep you up longer. Don’t worry, eventually sleep will come. If it doesn’t, it may be important to consult a doctor because you may be suffering from a more serious sleeping condition.
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What Do You Wear to Bed?

This isn’t that type of conversation but what you wear to bed makes a difference in how you sleep. It is not only the comfort and fit of your pajamas but the psychological effect of changing into your specific bedtime clothes. Even going to bed in the same sweats you’ve been wearing while binge watching TV all day can make it difficult to transition into sleep.

Since temperature effects how you sleep, what you wear to bed is just as important.
Cotton
Like a dependable pal, cotton is the usual go to as people are comfortable with this material. It’s easy to care for and soft to the touch. But this material can be problematic if you get hot or have night sweats. Does anyone want to get up in the middle of the night to change out of damp or wet pajamas?

Flannel
A first choice in cold weather, flannel is warm and breathable as well as being soft and durable. It’ll keep you cozy but if you sleep with a lot of layers on top or with a heavier blanket or quilt like I do, flannel will heat you up like a slow roasted chicken in the oven.

Silk
We usually think of silk as being a more luxurious type of sleepwear but it is good at thermoregulation—it keeps you warm when you are cold and cool when you’re hot. This slinky material is problematic though if you like to sleep on satin sheets creating a slippery experience that’ll keep you up during the night. Also, silk tends to have a higher price tag and the delicate handling isn’t always the most practical.

Polyester
This fabric is no longer the outcast of sleepwear fabric as it can be blended with other materials (cotton) to increase softness and durability. It is great for the moisture-wicking properties it contains.

Bamboo
These fibers are hypoallergenic so allergy sufferers, this might be perfect for you. The fabric is soft, silky, and biodegradable (how environmentally conscious of you). Like polyester, it is good at wicking moisture away.

Au Natural
You are not alone, a lot of people like to sleep in the nude and feel more comfortable with nothing between them and their sheets. Studies have shown that you sleep better when you sleep cool so sleeping this way can be an effective and alternative to keep your body temperature lower.

Top 5 Reasons Sleep is Important to Your Health

  1. Heart Health
    Sleep is directly compatible with a healthy heart. Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones in the body. This leads to an overworked heart sometimes resulting in high blood pressure or even heart attacks.
  2. Keeps You Thin
    It’s true, sleeping well regularly can keep the pounds off. Sleeplessness increases appetite and depresses the feeling of being full. Lack of sleep can also make it difficult to say no to junk food.
  3. Mood Boost
    Not sleeping enough can leave you feeling stressed or frustrated. Long term effects on mood include depression, lower self-esteem, and increased anxiety.
  4. Increased Productivity & Focus
    Getting a good night’s sleep increases short-term memory in adults. Adequate sleep is directly correlated to an improved skill set as well as higher test scores and improved attendance. It makes sense, if sleeping less lowers your immune system and makes you irritable, it may be more difficult to focus and be productive.
  5. Improves Relationships
    Not getting enough sleep lowers libido. But aside from that, lack of sleep makes you more emotional and amplifies negative emotions making it harder to maintain positive relationships.

Don’t believe me? Get more tips & tricks here!