The end of October is fast approaching and with autumn well and truly here, so comes the end of DST (Daylight Saving Time), or as you and I know it, the clocks going back.
When the clocks go back, we all tend to get a little disorientated, what with trying to turn the time back on the clock in the kitchen, the cooker, the bedroom and the computer. Coupled with figuring out whether you’re gaining or losing an hour in the morning, there’s a huge risk of losing out on Z’s and disrupting your sleep routine, so what impact does this have on your sleep quality and what can you do to help with the disruption that it may cause to your night’s kip?
You may not think so at first but changing the clocks back can have a considerable effect on your sleep; if you’re used to waking up early, for example, you could find yourself waking up even earlier.
It’s all to do with your internal body clock, as when the night arrives earlier, your body produces melatonin sooner. This means that you’re more likely to fall asleep earlier in the day and wake up (sometimes several times) during the night, which will more than likely throw your regular routine off kilter.
Whether you feel like you’ve had a good night’s sleep or not, it’s likely that you’re going to feel a little groggy or even slightly befuddled when you wake up for the first few weeks after the time change.
There are a couple of simple steps, however, that you can take to help with your sleep, none of which is difficult to achieve:
- Daylight helps to suppress the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, so it is important – particularly during the winter months – to get as much sunlight during the day as possible. This could mean making a few small changes to your daily routine such as taking a walk on your lunch break, and these changes will not only be beneficial to your wellbeing but will also keep that tired feeling at bay. It could also be beneficial to your routine if you avoid bright lights when it is dark outside, so if you’re used to getting up in the night to go to the bathroom, try not to turn the lights on – this can easily trick your brain into waking up and disturb your sleep when you go back to bed. A great way around this is by investing in a small night light, so you don’t get lost in the dark!
- Keeping on top of your sleep hygiene is an ideal way to fight the effects of the change in season. Sleep hygiene, generally speaking, just refers to the environment in which you sleep. So if you have good sleep hygiene, you’ll probably have a regular evening routine that you maintain in order to help you get the best sleep possible. Habits such as turning off devices at least an hour before you plan to go to bed are great ways to improve your sleep.
You’ll probably find with a few adjustments to your overall routine and night-time surroundings, you will find it much easier to cope with the change in time. Although, if you find that after a few weeks you are still struggling with your sleep then you may want to take a deeper look into where you’re sleeping – is your bed as comfortable as it could be? Where you sleep is one of the biggest factors in how well you sleep, and that’s whether the clocks are due to change or not.
Now you know everything there is to know about getting the best night’s sleep when the clocks go back. We hope you get the best night’s sleep this weekend and enjoy the extra hour snoozing!