5 sleep tips for Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time is approaching quickly. Each spring when we turn our clocks ahead during Daylight Savings Time (DST), we gain an hour of sunshine each day, but lose a much-needed hour of rest each night. While most people can make it through the time change unscathed, some may feel out of sorts for days on end. A good night's rest is invaluable for your overall health, mood and fitness level, so as March 20 approaches, make sure Daylight Savings Time doesn't put a cramp on your style with these helpful sleep tips from FSAstore.com!
Skip the alcohol/caffeine before bed
Abstaining from alcohol and caffeinated drinks before bedtime is a smart lifestyle choice at any time of year, but it will certainly help during Daylight Savings Time. Caffeine is a stimulant and will keep you awake for hours after ingestion and while alcohol may help you get to sleep faster, it will limit the body's ability to enter the deepest, most restful sleep cycle, rapid eye movement (REM).
Stick to your sleep schedule
Adults should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, so even when the time change comes into play, make an effort to head to bed one hour earlier, or start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night in the days before the time change. This will allow you to wake up fully rested each morning without having to suffer the extreme effects of that lost hour of sleep.
Aim for regular exercise
Exercising for just 30 minutes, 3 days a week or more can have a tangible impact on your sleep schedule, as this extra activity is good for your health and can help you fall asleep faster and achieve a more restful sleep. Be sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as this can give the body a mental and physical energy boost that could interfere with the sleep cycle.
Relax before bed
Preparing for sleep is just as important as sticking to a proper bedtime, as adhering to specific routines and abstaining from other activities can signal to your body that it's time to prepare for sleep. Read a book, take a warm bath or anything else that helps you wind down at the end of the day. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 30 minutes before bed for light activities that will prep the mind for restful sleep.
Optimize your sleep environment
Last but not least, it's next to impossible to get a good night's rest unless your bedroom is conducive to entering deep sleep. Some popular options to help are blackout shades, sleep masks, white noise machines or earplugs to block out outside stimuli that could interfere with a proper sleep cycle. Additionally, the temperature of the room is pivotal as well, so aim for temperatures in the range of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
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