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  • Writer's pictureElise Johnson

How to Get Enough Sleep after Daylight Savings Time

Updated: Apr 10


A purple Infograph with graphic of woman sleeping in the middle and tips and tricks listed all around her.
Sleep Hygiene

During this time every year we are faced with daylight savings time. This changing of the clocks interferes with our bodies alignment or natural rhythms.


These shifts can significantly increase health risks.


An increase in adverse health consequences from insufficient sleep due to a misaligned circadian rhythm can include increased risk in heart attacks and stroke. In addition, an increase in motor vehicle accidents and mental health disorders are reported every year.


Misalignment


Daylight savings time directly affects your circadian rhythm which may fall out of alignment because you are going to bed and waking up before your internal clock is ready.


While we gain an hour of sunlight each evening, this extended hour of light delays the brain's release of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.


Disrupted sleep due to daylight savings time causes oxidative stress, and an increase in insulin resistance, and blood sugar levels. It can also affect hormones like TSH, prolactin, FSH, LH, T4, T3, progesterone, and estradiol. Disrupted sleep leads to compromised sleep quality, sleep debt, and reduced cognitive function. People often report negative mood changes.


Here are a few ways you can manage the time change:


  1. Go to bed 15 minutes early each evening.

  2. Adjust your nap time. Limit naps to 20 minutes only.

  3. Consider adding tart cherries, wild salmon, nuts and seeds, and goji berries to your diet.

  4. Avoid blue light and electronics two hours before bedtime and wear blue light glasses.

  5. Discuss with your healthcare provider the possibility of taking B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. Always eat food when taking zinc supplements to avoid stomach upset.

  6. As always, avoid unintentional dehydration by staying hydrated. Drink 8 ounces of lemon water when you first wake up. (This is good practice every day actually!) Discuss with your healthcare provider the possibility of adding a pinch of sea salt to your morning lemon water.

  7. Aim to drink 5 to 8 ounces of water every hour until dinner.

  8. Try to get some morning sun.

  9. When daylight savings time first begins, avoid added stress by walking or gently exercising rather than pushing yourself.

  10. Avoid traffic accidents by walking or working from home the first few days if possible.

  11. Help stabilize your blood sugar levels by eating adequate amounts of protein and fiber at each meal.

  12. Limit sugar of any kind the first few days.


Practice Patience


It's very important to practice patience and to be gentle with children following daylight savings time. Children and adults will naturally be less attentive, have slower reaction times, and will be more emotionally sensitive.


Lastly, treat your bedtime routine similar to your children's routine. Take a warm bath or shower, read a book, say prayers or meditate, and head to bed early!



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