With daylight savings right around the corner, it’s beginning to feel a lot like summertime. The days are longer, the flowers are in bloom, grilling out is a nightly occurrence, and life takes on a lightness that makes each moment a little sweeter.
With the joy of extra sunlight in our days, it’s easy to forget that the time change can throw our sleep patterns off. When we experience changes in our amount or quality of sleep we can become tired, irritable, and not able to present our best selves to the world.
Studies have also linked poor sleep habits to several chronic health problems, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder, among others.
With so many benefits to sleep, it’s imperative to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep every night.
Even though it’s only an hour change for daylight savings, it will take your body some time to get used to a new sleep schedule. Be patient with yourself and stick to your same bedtime every night to help with the transition. Try these tips to get your sleep schedule adjusted and to improve sleep quality throughout the night.
Be Consistent With Your Sleep Schedule
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is the best way to train your body into being tired at the same time every evening. Our bodies have internal clocks that we can set and reset. The only problem with these internal clocks that we’re equipped with is that they do require some patience to adjust.
Even one late evening can throw your body back into your old sleep patterns, so it’s very important to remain consistent with your bedtime and waking time. If you sleep in that will ultimately leave you ready to stay up later, which leads to more sleeping in. It’s a cycle that feeds upon itself, so be mindful about getting up at the same time every day and hitting the hay at the same time each evening.
Create A Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine can be a great way to prepare your body and mind for rest. A cup of herbal tea and a good book are a great duo for bedtime prepping. Listening to soothing nature sounds and diffusing essential oils to deepen into relaxation further can also help to put the mind into a restful state.
Avoid Blue Light Before Bed
As much as we love to snuggle up on the couch and watch some Netflix before bed, it’s a really great way to mess with your ability to fall asleep fast. The blue light that is emitted from phones, tablets, computer screens, and televisions mimics sunlight and tells our bodies that it’s not time for bed. Setting up some mood lighting can go a long way towards helping you to fall asleep, consider dimming lights or using candles to lay the groundwork for a restful sleep.
Don’t Exercise Right Before Bed
Exercise will ward off your sleepiness which is great first thing in the morning, but it can be difficult to fall asleep when your body is still full of adrenaline from your workout. Try to exercise either in the morning or earlier in the evening if possible.
Food Choices For Better Sleep
What we eat throughout the day can have negative effects on sleep. When you’re starting to wind down it’s best to avoid stimulants like coffee, nicotine, and chocolate. It’s recommended that caffeine not be consumed after 2 p.m. to ensure that sleep is not disrupted or delayed.
And even though alcohol is technically a depressant, drinking causes our bodies to produce adenosine (a chemical that the brain releases to induce sleep). Drinking increases the production of adenosine and puts people to sleep, but it fades quickly and typically results in a more restless and disrupted sleep. So it’s best to avoid late night drinking if you’re working on a sleep routine adjustment.
Spicy foods are also linked to poorer sleep quality and also have the potential to cause heartburn and other stomach related issues that are difficult to sleep through.
With these few small and relaxing techniques, you can improve your sleep schedule, physical appearance, general demeanor, and your overall health. So set yourself up for a great night’s sleep with soothing bedtime rituals, healthy food choices, and don’t forget that consistency is key!