Some people will welcome the ‘extra’ hour of sleep but for others, a change in their circadian or natural 24-hour rhythm may be troublesome.
A time change is an ideal opportunity to examine sleep habits in order to avoid possible health consequences. Sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity, a higher incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure and trouble with memory and learning.
A few tips for making this year’s adjustment are:
- Have a hot bath before getting into a cold bed – this lowers your body temperature – a natural event when you sleep.
- Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal each of the three nights before the hour falls back.
- Start your usual wind-down time earlier. Relaxing, in a dimly lit area, can induce sleepiness.
- Adjust your meal times slowly to a little earlier, prior to the hour change.
- Avoid thinking in terms of the ‘old’ time.
- Consider installing dimmer switches for your evening activities. Reducing your exposure to bright lights helps to calm you down.
- Make tomorrow’s to-do-list before going to bed to get it off your mind.
- Instead of counting sheep, think of a 5 letter word with 5 different letters in it, then try to think of 5 other words that begin with each of the letters in your word.