Daylight saving meant that over the summer we had more time to enjoy those long summer evenings…..(if you blinked you may have missed the sun!)
On October 29th its time for us to claim back that extra hour we lost in March. Although it may be easy to adjust the physical clock, its somewhat harder to adjust our body clocks.
Many people report that they see changes in their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep and as a result, mood can take a dip.
However, there are ways to minimise the effects.
- Start by preparing a few days early enough so that the body gets used to the new time to come. Adjust your normal sleep time 15 minutes toward where the clock will change so over the course of a week or so you have already made the alteration.
- You may feel hungry at different times so it is best not to eat too close to your bedtime. A heavy meal just before sleeping may interfere with your sleep as your body is busy digesting.
- Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the body’s internal circadian clock. It increases in the evening when it becomes dark, so it helps induce sleep. It is important that you stay in an environment that is well lit through the day as much as possible. When it gets dark outside, make sure you are indoors with very minimal light and try to avoid smartphones and laptops one hour before bedtime as they can inhibit the production of melatonin.
- Avoid taking naps, but if you feel tired and you need to take a nap, make them short i.e. not more than 20 minutes. A nap should not be too close to bedtime as may interfere with falling asleep later on. Rather than a nap try taking some light exercise or have a cup of coffee to give you an energy boost.
- If you find you can’t sleep, my best tip is to simply leave the bedroom. Staying in bed and becoming frustrated will mean that it takes longer to fall asleep but it will also create a negative connection with you bed. If you continually spend a lot of time in bed awake, your bed can become a cue for not sleeping. Instead, go downstairs and read a book or watch TV until you feel sleepy and then return to bed.
If you would like any further advice around improving your sleep please visit www.theinsomniaclinic.co.uk