Here's how to make the transition to DST a little easier.
Sleep, or lack of it, has been a hot topic in recent months with numerous studies pointing out that sleep deprivation can lead to heart issues, diabetes and many other unhealthy situations. Many of us, due to work schedules, family concerns, or simply making bad choices, have found ourselves in a position of needing a good night’s sleep. And now we are about to lose another hour due to the implementation of Daylight Saving Time this weekend.
So, how do we deal with losing sleep and what is the best way to overcome the effects of sleep loss? According to Dr. J. Catesby Ware, a sleep specialist at Eastern Virginia Medical School, who spoke with the Virginia Pilot, there are some simple tips that can help you cope with your sleep loss and get your system back on your internal clock.
First, get up out of bed. Sounds easy enough, but sometimes we are tempted to linger a little longer and hit that snooze button a few times before rising. But, exposure to light pushes the reset button in our brains and gets us moving, so Dr. Ware says open the curtains, turn on the lights and that will help you get started.
Eating a good breakfast will also help, not only to get going, but to sleep better overall. The body’s gut microbiome has a 24-hour cycle that an get knocked out of sync by irregular eating and the morning breakfast meal helps get that clock reset.
Of course, exercising, the remedy for almost all ailments, can be beneficial to your sleeping as well. Morning exercising has been shown to help with the onset of sleep at night, and exercising in the late afternoon or early evening can lead to a deeper, more restful sleep.
Finally, socializing with other people helps you stay alert during the day and in turn leads to better sleep during the night, keeping your body in sync with its circadian rhythm.
Dr. Ware adds you can try going to bed an hour earlier on Saturday night to make up for the lost hour, but it probably won’t work. The best advice is to use these tips to reset your body’s clocks on Sunday, and you can look forward to being ready for work on Monday morning.