As we prepare to spring forward on March 14th, it’s important to understand what this daylight savings time sleep change actually does to your body. Dr. Brynn Dredla, a Mayo Clinic Sleep Neurologist, breaks down in one minute what that one hour of daylight saving time sleep change can do to the body:
Even though the clocks change only an hour during Daylight Savings Time, we find that you can definitely feel the difference. In fact, we’ve been fond of calling it the Daylight Savings Time Sleep Hangover! It can affect you whether you are springing forward or falling back especially if you’re already somewhat sleep-deprived. Winston Churchill once explained Daylight Savings Time in this way:
“An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn… We borrow and hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.”
Cue the Daylight Saving Time Sleep Hangover! Now, while we may be “gaining” an hour of sleep, Winston Churchill was on to something with his explanation. Research has found that many people don’t or simply can’t take advantage of the extra hour of sleep “gained” by falling back hence the interest we pay. This time shift will once again completely shift the body’s daily sleep-wake cycle and disrupt your sleep for days to come. In fact, in the week after we fall back you may find yourself waking up earlier, have more trouble falling asleep, and you’ll be likely to wake up during the night. If you tend to sleep less than 7 hours a night or tend to wake up very early in the morning you will find that you will have the most trouble adjusting to this shift.
4 Tips to Beat Daylight Savings Time Sleep Hangover:
- Change your sleep habits: Maybe this shift helps you recognize that you don’t have a sleep schedule at all and your sleep habits need a full overhaul. Start thinking about establishing a set time to begin your bedtime routine as well as a regular bedtime. Take advantage of all the great apps available to set reminders to begin your wind down for the day and get to sleep at the same time daily. A proper sleep schedule can have its advantages like waking up naturally and never having to hit that snooze button!
- Create a Sleep Sanctuary: Turn your bedroom into your sleep sanctuary! Keep the room cool (60 – 75 degrees is the best for sleep), use sleep shades, try a white noise machine, and ditch the electronics. Save your bedroom for sleep, adult extracurriculars, and relaxing. On the note of relaxing, stress and overstimulation can make it hard to fall asleep, if you find your brain won’t stop running make it a habit to write out your schedule for the next day or keep a journal next to the bed to jot down thoughts. Getting them out of your head and on paper can help you feel a sense of relief.
- Take a hot shower at night: Try taking a hot shower before bed and then getting into a cool bed. That ritual will mimic the day-to-night process, which may help guide you to sleep.
- Make the most of your sleep time on a performance mattress: When the time you spend asleep is limited you need to be sure you are making the most of the hours you are asleep on a proper mattress. Essentia mattresses are the only ones to address all 6 key elements for wholebody body recovery including offering a clean air environment, are allergy-friendly, and sleeping cool. All of this adds up to you falling asleep faster, and staying in those crucial REM stages of sleep longer. Everything starts in the bedroom, and the core of your bedroom is your mattress. This is an investment in your life, happiness, and most importantly, health!
Do you have any tips to beat the daylight savings time sleep hangover? Share with us in the comments!