Feeling slightly more tired now the days are getting shorter? If the answer is yes do not worry this is very common! Daylight Saving Time (DST) happens in March and then again in November and can cause you to feel some disruption in your sleeping pattern and how fatigued you get throughout the day. Some people may experience moderate effects such as difficulty adjusting to a new wake-up time.
‘The transition between DST and Standard Time has darker mornings and more evening light. This can essentially “delay” your sleep-wake cycle, making you feel tired in the morning and alert in the evening. (sleep foundation.org). ‘
Daylight Saving Time Sleep Tips
In the weeks leading up to time changes, you can prepare yourself for adjustment by taking the following precautions:
- Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: Sleep hygiene refers to practices that can influence sleep for better or worse. In order to ease the transition of the time change, you should refrain from drinking alcohol before bed. While drinking can cause you to feel sleepy initially, alcohol also causes sleep disruptions and leads to poor sleep quality. Heavy dinners and snacks before bedtime can also negatively affect how well you sleep that night.
- Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine: start a healthy sleep hygiene practice that can also prepare you for time changes. Make sure you get at least seven hours of rest each night before and after transitioning to or from the time change.
- Spend Time Outdoors: Exposure to sunlight can alleviate feelings of tiredness during the day that often accompany time changes. Spending time outside during the day also suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone released in the evening to help you feel tired and ready for bed.
- Don’t Consume Caffeine Near Bedtime: Studies have found caffeine consumed within six hours of bedtime can interrupt your sleep cycle. Moderate amounts of caffeine in the morning or early afternoon should have less of an effect on your sleep.