Daylight Savings Time
Dr. Ryan Hennessy - March 09, 2020
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Time changes in the fall and spring can affect your normal daily schedule and take your body time to adjust.
 
Everyone’s circadian rhythm is slightly different, as well as the time you wake up and the time you fall asleep, which is why we each deal with time changes differently.
 
Time adjustments can be especially hard for different age groups. Many find that as they age, the change in time can cause physical and mental fatigue, cloudy headedness and other problems that can last a few days to even a few weeks.
 
Maintain a Routine Schedule
During daylight savings time, you must give yourself ample time to adjust to the new schedule. Staying on a routine, which includes staying awake until bedtime, and going to sleep at a reasonable hour will help your body adjust.
 
Make Small Shifts
Adjusting your sleep schedule a week before by waking up and going to bed earlier by 30 minutes can be helpful in preparing your body for the time change.
 
Develop a Bedtime Ritual
Having a routine before your bedtime is also important. This does not mean that you have to be regimented prior to going to bed, but a routine can help slow your body down to fall asleep.

Lower the lights. Take a warm—not hot—shower. Avoid using electronics and watching TV. These devices emit blue light and other high-intensity light, which hinders melatonin production and important hormones for sleepiness. Electronic light is similar to daylight and can confuse your brain to think it’s daytime.
 
Watching stressful movies and television shows can trigger your fight or flight reaction and hinder your ability to fall asleep.
 
Also, avoid foods containing stimulants such as coffee, black tea, caffeinated beverages, and dark chocolates.
 
Avoid Long Naps
Sluggishness mid-day can make you want to close your eyes and take a nap. Sometimes this can backfire and prevent you from getting a normal full night of sleep.
 
To combat tiredness, step outside into the sunlight. Even ambient light can help stimulate your body to be more awake.
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