I'm not sure how you feel about Daylight Saving Time? I'm a big fan when it's 9:00 pm in the summer, but when fall hits and it's pitch black before dinner, I'm not so thrilled.
That Monday following the end of Daylight Saving Time is pretty much the worst. You feel disoriented and groggy and your sleep schedule is bonkers. There's just no question that DST messes with your internal clock. Here are some tips to help you transition that first+ week following the time change.
AVOID COFFEE AND ALCOHOL
Getting quality sleep while your body adjusts the first week or so is key! Avoid drinking coffee 4-6 hours before bedtime as caffeine interferes with your sleep schedule. A big cuppa joe first thing in the am is however highly recommended. Alcohol can also affect your sleep schedule, so skip the booze that first week while your body is adjusting.
TRY TO FOREGO NAPS
Your first instinct might be to take naps to get some energy back during the day. A power nap fo 20 minutes is perfectly acceptable 'they' say - it's enough time to give you an energy boost without throwing off your internal clock even more. Anything longer than that will make it harder for you to get a full night of quality sleep. Best to just power through the day and hit the sack at a reasonable hour (note to self - that's not 6 pm).
BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR SCHEDULE
Don't shift your schedule an hour back or forward to compensate for the time difference. If you have a specific routine, try to stick with it the best you can. And try not to hit the snooze on your alarm each morning. When you stick to your schedule it will make it easier to transition to the new season. Plus, if you wake up early enough to catch the sunlight (ok, maybe not an option in the PNW), it will invigorate you and help you jump-start your day.
PRACTICE GOOD HABITS BEFORE BEDTIME
Probably something that could/should be done 24/7/365! They say avoiding electronics an hour before bedtime is key to falling asleep as the blue light that electronics emit stimulates your brain the same way the sun does and makes it harder to get to sleep. Reading before bed is still the run away winner for lulling you into a restful state. I personally find the Calm app very helpful to drift off when my mind won't turn off. I believe they offer a 7 day free trial.
IMPLEMENT A 'LIGHT' SCHEDULE
The most important thing to do when daylight saving time ends is to expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible to keep your internal clock running. Short walks throughout the day, opening your window coverings, and sitting for a few minutes in the sun (remember your spf) are all good ways to make sure your body is feeling and seeing the light. If you're not exposed to enough light, it can affect your serotonin levels. Make sure you are getting as much sunlight as possible during this shift.
I hope these tips help - I'm off to take a nap, er read a book!
Until next time,