If you find it difficult adjusting to the time change, you’re not alone. The “spring forward” time change in March is harder to adjust to than the “fall back” change in November, due to our circadian rhythms. According to sleep specialists, our inner circadian clock finds it easier to sleep later in the morning than it does to fall asleep earlier at night. While most people adjust to the change within a couple of days, night owls find it more difficult.
Spring forward with precaution!
One study found a 6 percent rise in workplace injuries on the Monday after the daylight-saving time change. Traffic accidents rise 11 percent, following the time change too, so drive and work with extra caution the week of the time change.
10 easy ways to help your body adjust to the new time:
- Get some sun! Allow sunlight into your room soon after you wake, to help “reset” your circadian rhythm.
- Coffee timing. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages after lunch.
- Plan your workouts. Exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening, but not close to bedtime.
- Dim all the lights. Dim the lights indoors, an hour before bedtime. Make your bedroom as dark as possible.
- Unwind. Listen to soothing, relaxing music to unwind earlier in the evening.
- Take a bath! Try a warm soak in the tub before retiring. Add a few drops of a relaxing essential oil, such as lavender or mandarin to your bath water.
- Herbal tea time. Sip a warm cup of herbal tea to unwind. These herbal teas are noted to have a calming, relaxing, and stress relieving effect: Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Catnip, and Hops. As with all herbs, seek advice from your natural health professional if you have allergies, other health conditions, or take medications.
- Try supplements. These natural supplements may help you relax and get to sleep: melatonin, magnesium, and valerian. Ask your health professional which is right for you.
- Help to adjust? This would be a great week for you to get a Chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic patients commonly experience a notable improvement in their quality of sleep. Chiropractic adjustments optimize nervous system function, which regulates your internal, sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythm).
- Hit the hay early. During the week leading up to the time change, go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual, to help your body gradually adjust. If this isn’t possible, then make sure you don’t miss any sleep, no burning the midnight oil, this week.