Daylight saving hours sometimes feel like a blessing or a curse for an array of reasons. This March, we’re putting the clocks forward on the last Sunday of the month which is both good and bad: providing us with more sunlight but throwing off our internal body clock by losing an hour’s sleep. This year the hour will be going back on Sunday 27th March at 1am, jumping ahead to 2am.
This process affects how our bodies function – mainly irregulating our circadian rhythm, often referred to as the internal ‘body clock’. At certain times throughout the day, our body clocks prompt the release of hormones that make us feel certain ways: hungry, tired, hot, cold, thirsty and of course, tired.
So, when the clocks go forward, we’re essentially forcing our circadian rhythms to adjust to a new schedule. Unfortunately, the hour going forward is much more disruptive than falling back, but we have some top tips for you to ensure that the adjustment process is easier to adapt to…
Don’t exercise before bed. It won’t tire you out, it will simply increase your heart rate, adrenaline levels and core temperature, making you feel more awake and preventing you from going to sleep when your circadian rhythm is used to. Exercising earlier in the day is a better idea, fatiguing your body and giving your body enough time to relax before hitting the hay.
When you wake up, you should make your room as bright as possible (despite how hard it will be) as this causes your brain to stop producing melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. Therefore, you’re essentially telling your brain to wake up and get ready for the day.
Drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks can affect you for several hours post-consumption, so it should probably go without saying that you should avoid caffeine 8 hours before you go to bed if you want to adjust to daylight saving hours better.
As for alcohol, it can cause you to fall asleep much quicker but worsens your quality of sleep significantly. You can wake up unrefreshed from poor quality sleep, preventing you from adjusting to losing an hour’s sleep easily. With this being said, steering clear of alcohol on a Saturday evening is a good shout.
This last tip may be self-explanatory, but eating breakfast in the wake of daylight saving hours can help kickstart those energy levels properly. The same notion goes for before bed – don’t go overly hungry or after a big meal as it could stop you from falling asleep easily.
And there are Mattressman‘s top tips to help you adjust to daylight saving hours. If you think you’re tiredness stems from more than the hours changing, maybe you need a new mattress.