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Didn’t it seem like only yesterday that we were setting our clocks back and excited for an extra hour of sleep? It may be hard to believe, but Sunday marks the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST.)
Understandably, most of us do not look forward to the end of Daylight Savings, like we do at the beginning. According to sleep.org, the average person sleeps 40 minutes less on the night following Daylight Saving Time then they would on a typical night. Many people feel adjusted to the change by Wednesday, but other unlucky individuals may struggle for weeks.
Anyone who has experienced a rough night of sleep will likely tell you that it can have several negative impacts on the following day. To prepare for Daylight Savings, now is the perfect time to audit your regular nighttime routine. Keep these following tips in mind as you plan to spring ahead:
- Gradually transition into the time change
Ideally, you would already be going to bed a little earlier than usual. If not, it’s not too late to get started. For the next couple of nights, make an effort to go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier. If you are well-rested before Saturday night, you will help minimize the effects of DST.
Remember that different people need different amounts of sleep. Make an effort to determine how much sleep you need.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
Alcohol and caffeine, which can be found in coffee, chocolate, tea and pain relievers, can disrupt your sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid these stimulating substances for four to six hours before bedtime.
- Don’t schedule nighttime workouts
Moderate exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. When done regularly, aerobic exercise can help improve your quality of sleep, but the timing is important. For some, working out too close to bedtime can hinder sleep. Rule of thumb, if you don’t often sleep well, think about exercising earlier in the day.
- Establish a digital curfew
When using smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices at bedtime, you are unknowingly delaying your internal clock. These devices suppress the release of melatonin and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Create a digital curfew for you and your loved ones in which you all turn off electronic devices for the night. Consider setting the limit 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed. The earlier you in the evening you power down the electronics, the better.
- Commit to a regular sleeping schedule
Finally, for the best night’s sleep, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (yes, even weekends.) By sticking with a schedule, you can help your body regulate its sleep pattern and maximize the hours you sleep.
Here at Lions Pride, we may not exactly be excited about losing an hour of sleep, but Daylight Saving Time means that spring is right around the corner and brighter days are ahead. Don’t forget to enjoy the changing of the season!