We Spring Forward in March by changing our clocks an hour ahead, Fall Back in November by moving our clocks an hour behind, and we lose sleep in Spring and Fall because of it. Not all locations practice Daylight Saving Time, and the U.S. may do away with it altogether at some point in the future. In the meantime, you can get ahead of sleep disruption with these techniques.
Why Our Sleep is Affected
Our bodies are regulated by our internal circadian rhythms, and artificially shifting the time around can create misalignment with these natural rhythms. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation points to some studies that indicate the human body never fully acclimates to the changes from Daylight Saving Time, and although we may adapt on the surface, we stay in chronic circadian misalignment.
Take Charge of Your Sleep Cycle
Fortunately, there are steps you can take the week before a time change to help you get better, deeper sleep.
- Make the Time Change Gradual: Changing the clock essentially creates a jet lag effect in your system. You can lessen the impact by gradually changing your sleep and wake times before the actual time change. In the Fall, shift your bedtime by 15 minute increments each night for four nights. By the time we Fall Back, your sleep cycle will already be in process of adjusting to the new time.
- Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: While good sleep hygiene is a best practice all year round, it is especially important around a time change. Avoid electronic devices too close to bedtime, make sure your bedroom temperature is not too hot or too cold, sleep in freshly washed bedding, and so on.
- Drink Wisely: Drinking caffeinated beverages within six hours of bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle. The same goes for alcoholic beverages - while a glass of wine at bedtime can seem like a good way to relax, alcohol can affect the quality of sleep, such as reducing the amount of time spent in the important REM sleep cycle. Swap in some herbal tea, warm milk with turmeric and honey, or lemon water to help your body get better sleep.
- Get Outside: Natural light is one of the biggest drivers of our circadian rhythms. Spending time outdoors in fresh air and natural sunlight during the day can give you a natural energy boost, regulate Melatonin production, and help circadian rhythms adjust. Even if the weather has gotten chilly, bundling up to take a short walk or spend time in the yard during the day can help you sleep better at night.
- Support Your System: You can counter the disruption of a time change by creating a strong sleep foundation. CBD and melatonin can help you sleep well all year long, and provide the extra support you need when the clocks turn. NextEvo Naturals CBD Sleep products are clinically proven to absorb better, making it easier for you to fall and stay asleep - time change or not.