5 tips to improve your sleep this daylight savings

Protect-A-Bed Daylight Savings

It is the first Sunday of October and we all know that means it is daylight savings time.

Daylight savings puts our clock forward an hour and although this can be fantastic for people who want to enjoy those long summer nights it can have a negative impact on our sleeping patterns.

Even one hour of sleep loss over a few nights can have marked effects on our mood and health.

The effects of the initial time change for daylight savings on the body is often likened to jet lag.  Losing an hour of light in the morning and gaining it at night it effects our bodies as if we are in a different time zone.

This is because changing the clock in either direction changes the principle time cue (which is light) for setting and resetting our 24-hr natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. Therefore, our internal clocks become out of sync.

As it is staying light later in the day it can be harder to fall asleep and likewise staying darker in the morning can make it harder to wake up.

Tips to help you adapt your circadian rhythm to the new time:

  1. It is advised to aim to get eight hours of sound sleep, fatigue can exacerbate the negative effects of changing the clock so avoid depriving yourself of sleep and go to bed at an appropriate time.
  2.  Avoid alcohol close to going to sleep. Studies show that it reduces rapid eye movement or (REM) sleep, thus impacting on your brains ability to sleep properly.
  3. Limit caffeine intake 6 hours prior to bed, research has shown that caffeine taken 6 hours prior to sleep has significant effects on sleep disturbance. This will impact on your ability to get a restful sleep.
  4. As light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin expose yourself to light during the day, but minimise all light sources when you go to sleep.  Try to avoid the blue light from cell phones and other screens at least two hours before bedtime.
  5. Improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to creating a sleep friendly environment through things such as calming bedtime routines, exercising several hours before sleeping, listening to music, reading a book or having a hot shower before bed.

Spring your clock's forward and get the most out of the warmer days by undertaking good sleeping habits.  With a good night sleep you will feel and function better.