It’s that time of year again. Whether you love it or hate it, this weekend – Sunday specifically – will see the clocks go from 1:59:59am to 3am...
Even though it’s only a change of 1 hour, it can mess up our sleep habits and throw our body out of whack and affect sleep. The reason we feel like we have a “mini jet lag” is because the time change messes up our circadian rhythm – our internal body clock that regulates our sleep patterns.
Fortunately, dealing with the change has become slightly easier since most of our devices do it automatically, meaning fewer manual adjustments. Sure, you may still have to adjust the microwave and oven (unless you have smart appliances) but at least you can have faith in the all-important alarm clock doing it automatically. While cell phones have made the chore easier, it can still take days for your body to catch up with the time change. But fear not! We've outlined 5 tips to ensure you seamlessly jump into Spring feeling your best.
Adjust your schedule slowly
Ease into the time change by shifting your bedtime and wake-up in advance. Sleep professionals suggest shifting your schedule by 15 minutes a day leading up to the change so that your body can gradually adjust.
Additionally, once you have eased into the change, try to stick to a schedule to get a better night’s rest!
Skip the afternoon coffee
We know, we know. You NEED it! But hear us out. Caffeine can take up to 12 hours to leave the body, so even if that afternoon coffee doesn’t affect you too much, it will still affect your sleep. Studies have shown that even if you drink coffee 6 hours before you go to bed, you are likely to lose a full hour of sleep! This doesn’t mean that you need to cut coffee out altogether, but while you’re adjusting to the time change you should avoid coffee after lunchtime.
Take a little nap
This one obviously depends on your schedule. If you’re lucky enough to have a nap corner in your office and you’re feeling groggy and tired in the afternoon, a little nap could make all the difference. No nap corner? Try your car, or if you live in a city, there are places specifically designed for a short nap! Having a short 10-30 minute nap can provide you with enough energy to last an extra 2 hours. However, don’t nap for too long or take one too close to bedtime otherwise you’ll find it difficult to fall asleep in the evening.
Get in some exercise
Feel that New Year’s resolution slipping away? Well, there’s no better time to start exercising again! Getting some exercise throughout the day can have a ton of benefits, especially to your sleep. Research shows that exercise helps promote sleep and sleep quality. This is because, by exercising and staying active throughout the day, your body will crave rest even more.
Just like the afternoon nap, there’s a “but”. Here it is... you should avoid a vigorous workout session right before bed – experts suggest working out no later than 2 hours before bed – otherwise your body will be too pumped to sleep. If the evening is the only time that works for you, try to do something more relaxing like meditation or yoga to slow your mind down.
Wake up naturally
Waking up to light is a great way to keep your internal clock regulated. And we don’t mean shining a bright light in your face at 6am! We’re talking about waking up naturally to a circadian rhythm alarm. Studies have shown that waking up to light can help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Our Luci Explore does just that. By easing your wake-up from a red light gradually changing to a bright white light, the sunrise simulation can help your morning routine and make that hour difference less of a burden.