In the early 1900s, the United States adopted a “daylight savings” routine as a measure to conserve energy and daylight. Daylight Savings Time, as it became known, begins in the spring and ends in the early winter. In the beginning, usually around March, time “springs forward” an hour. This means you’ll have more daylight at the end of the day, but you’ll also lose some precious sleep time in the morning.
While an hour may not seem like much, it’s enough to disrupt your current sleeping patterns and throw your body off for up to a week later. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make your sleeping adjustment a little easier.
4 Tips for a Restful Night
While your body is readjusting to the time change, the lack of sleep can make you feel more irritable, distracted, and stressed. Fatigue can be destructive to both your mental and physical health. Drowsy driving-related accidents soar in the Monday following the time change, and many people feel they are less alert and less productive during the day.
To minimize your drowsiness and get a better night’s sleep for the week ahead, try these four ways to adjust to daylight savings.
1) Cut out Caffeine
Those afternoon trips to Starbucks may contribute to your sleepless nights. Depending on your sensitivity, caffeine can linger in your system for hours or even days. Drinking a cup of coffee at 4 PM can keep you wired well past your usual bedtime. If you still want to pick up a warm beverage in the afternoon, try switching out your latte with decaf or a warm herbal tea.
There are plenty of other effective ways to stay alert during the day that won’t leave you feeling fatigued later. If you’re struggling to get through the workday without that afternoon cup of coffee, here are a few healthier ways to stay energized at work.
2) Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
The comfier your bed is, the more likely you’ll want to crawl into it. Treat yourself to some soft sheets and make sure your pillows are clean and fluffed. Make sure the temperature in your room is suitable for sleeping. Trying to sleep in an environment that’s too hot or cold can disrupt your sleep.
Keep your bedroom associated with rest so that your mind knows this is a place to wind down.
3) Unplug and Unwind
At night, your brain produces melatonin, a hormone that helps put your body into “rest mode.” Bright screens emitting light can suppress the production of melatonin in your system, thus leaving you awake for hours into the night. Since bright lights can be a huge distraction when trying to sleep, consider keeping your electronic devices somewhere else in the room, away from you.
Turn off the phone and laptop before bed so you aren’t getting any distracting phone notification noises either. If you like to read using an e-reader, use your screen’s brightness setting to reduce the amount of emitted light. Keeping yourself unplugged at night can help your body unwind and experience a better night’s sleep.
4) Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Set a relaxing “bedtime routine” and stick to it. Setting up a consistent nightly routine can help you get in the habit of winding down and preparing for rest.
Sleep Without Pain
If aches and pains are keeping you from getting a peaceful night of sleep, schedule a visit with one of our providers at Airrosti. Even though other treatment options can drag on for many visits over time, sleep deprivation from pain can make it impossible to wait for a long-term treatment plan. At Airrosti, our providers can diagnose and treat your pain directly at the source. We resolve most injury cases in just 3 visits (based on patient-reported outcomes), eliminating your pain quickly so you can sleep soundly through the night.
Read our Medical Disclaimer here.