The time has come…daylight savings time, that is. As a reminder, daylight savings is a time where we move our clocks back in the fall to “gain” an hour, and forward in the spring to “lose” an hour. With all that change, it’s no surprise that the effects of daylight savings are most felt in the disruption of our sleep schedules.
Studies have even shown that daylight savings impacts our mental health because it messes with something called our circadian rhythms – or rather, our internal body clocks – which govern sleep patterns.
While most of us enjoy more hours of daylight in the spring, longer nights and chillier temperatures cause many of us to retreat indoors come winter. The shorter, darker days can even impact mood causing an occurrence known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Thankfully, those concerns lessen as we head into warmer months! If you’re left wondering how to cope with that lost hour, we’ve rounded up 3 key ideas to help you better adjust to the time change.
Manage your stress levels
The benefits of a good night’s rest are unparalleled! Sleep experts recommend aiming for 7-9 hours of shut eye a night to beat the morning grogginess and sustain your energy levels throughout the day.
We agree that sounds lovely, but sometimes our busy and often stressful lives get in the way of quality sleep, never mind turning the clock back an hour! In fact, researchers have found that stress plays a large role in sleeplessness.
Combat the chaos by trying out some stress management techniques like taking breaks throughout your work day or meditating. Anything is worth trying now so you can get proper sleep later, right?
In addition to managing daytime stress, it’s recommended that staying active is another great way to help your circadian rhythms adjust to the time change.
In fact, exercise is found to reduce sleep onset, which is the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It also improves sleep quality, so you’ll likely feel more rested (even if you get one less hour!) Our research recommends you try to get your heart pumping for at least 20-30 minutes daily no less than 4-6 hours before bedtime.
Incorporate new self-care rituals before bed
One of the best ways we found to prepare for “losing” an hour of sleep, and arguably the most obvious, is to simply go to bed earlier! We suggest winding down a bit sooner, perhaps starting with a warm shower or bath or with a good book.
Our favorite way to wind down? Sipping on a cup of hot tea as our lavender tea + honey plug hub scents our spaces with notes of wild lavender (a calming scent note) and sweet manuka honey. Talk about breathing in the calm right before bed.