The clocks falling back signifies that winter is upon us and we officially wave goodbye the summer season. The main benefit is of course, an extra hour in bed… or, so we think.
The difference of an hour may seem like a subtle change in our daily routine, but it can actually have a bigger impact on our health and wellbeing than you might expect. The changing time has an adverse effect on your body clock, which essentially runs off a 24-hour clock and is commanded by natural light. As the days get shorter, our bodies are seeing less and less sunlight, which alters the amount of melatonin our body creates, and knocks our sleep patterns way out of sync.
However, there’s no need to worry when help is at hand! Follow our simple tips below to help you manage this year’s hour gain with your circadian rhythm intact.
Embrace the natural light
The change in natural light has a big impact on your quality of sleep as it adjusts the amount of melatonin your body produces. Melatonin is the chemical which regulates your body’s sleep cycle, and a lack of this – which is caused by the shortage of natural sunlight – can make you feel tired and sluggish.
Counter this by going for a brisk walk in the morning. Not only will you get your daily exercise, but you’ll truly feel the benefits when it comes to sleep time.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
A favourite saying often said by your parents, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Food tells the body the day has begun and provides us with the fuel and energy we need after an overnight fast.
Eating a healthy meal will offer you the correct vitamins and nutrients and help to give you the cognitive functionality to get through the tough morning period unscathed.
Go easy on the caffeine
If you’re struggling to keep your eyes open, resist the urge to drink multiple cups of coffee. You can have a small cup in the morning or up to six hours before sleep but drinking any more or any later will start to affect your sleeping pattern.
And don’t feel guilty for having a short power nap if it’s needed. Just make sure you don’t spend more than 20 minutes napping, as this has adverse issues with your nightly sleep pattern.
Create an evening regime
Whether it’s showering before bed or spritzing the room with lavender oil, many of us have our unique evening regimes. If you don’t, then it might be time to implement one, as they can help you relax, which in turn reduces the impact of your subconscious while you sleep.
Begin by setting a consistent sleep and wake time, as this aids the body’s circadian rhythm and helps to improve wakefulness in the mornings.
Be mindful of your evening screen-time
Many of us have the habit of either checking our emails one last time or finishing off the last episode of the must-see box set before bed, but you shouldn’t.
Whether its televisions, mobile phones or laptops, all screens emit blue light wavelengths, and this inhibits the production of melatonin, which will keep you awake for longer. Ultimately, this decreases the amount of quality sleep and this will disrupt your productivity levels.
Create a sleep-boosting environment
Ideally, a bedroom should be just for sleep, so try and implement this philosophy and eliminate anything in your room that could be waking you up. For example, if there’s a crack of light coming through your curtains, get some blackout blinds, or use earplugs if the apartment below like playing loud at night. This will allow you to get a deeper sleep for longer.
Article researched by online provider of hybrid mattresses: OTTY