Although it comes around twice every year, Daylight Savings still manages to catch us all by surprise. Waking up on Sunday morning to find the clocks have turned back or forward an hour doesn’t necessarily mean that our internal body clock has made the same adjustments. The side-effects of Daylight Savings always hit particularly hard on the first week back to work and can be even harder for parents with young children who have only just conquered the bedtime brawl.
As sleep specialists, we are particularly interested in educating people on how to make the transition smoother. Research has shown that losing 1 hour of sleep can change the function of 711 genes in the body! An interesting study conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey found that a week of fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night resulted in significant changes to hunger, hormones, metabolism, inflammation, immune responses and even changes to the formation of red blood cells. That’s some pretty significant changes for losing just 1 hour of sleep.
To help you make the smooth transition this Sunday, here are 5 tips from our team of Sleep Specialists:
- Adjust your lights – Changing light sets your internal clock, which regulates sleep and alertness, so whenever possible, head outside early in the mornings and soak in some sunlight. In the evening do the opposite and dim lights in the home after sunset and avoid blue-light from any digital devices 2 hours prior to bed.
- Create a sleep-promoting environment – the ambience of your bedroom can go a long way in triggering your readiness for sleep. Ideally, your bedroom should be dark, cool, comfortable, clutter-free, and quiet. Try organic essential oils ( EO’s), such as Lavender, Chamomile, Orange and Manuka. Essential oils work on the Limbic system and can literally help you drop off to sleep more easily. It just so happens those EO’s are our favourite and can be found in our DIVINE SLEEP Aromatherapy spray. Spritz your room and pillow before lights out to further support relaxation and tranquillity.
- Adjust your stimulant intake – If you are an eager tea or coffee drinker, it will pay to replace these caffeinated drinks for herbal teas earlier in the afternoon. For example, if you usually have your last coffee at 2 pm, try having your last one at 1 pm. Caffeine can stay in the bloodstream for up to 9 hours, so the earlier you stop sipping, the better your quality of sleep.
- Nap – If you are tired during the day, don’t try stay awake. Have a short nap in the afternoon. So long as it’s 20 minutes or less you more than likely won’t fall into a deep sleep and will benefit from a small recharge. Ideal time is between 2-3 pm because a nap can help stave off serious sleepiness and give you an energy boost, without compromising on your night-time rest. If a nap is out of the question to try taking our Daytime Revive, to ward off the feelings of tiredness and to support your day time energy levels naturally.
- Adjust your intake of SleepDrops – avid advocates of our SleepDrops products know to stock up in the build-up to Daylight Savings. We advise to keep to a regular sleep routine during the transition (go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time) and to keep your SleepDrops on-hand, especially during the first week after the time change. Start taking 2 hours prior to sleep, 5-10 drops every half an hour. If you have children, don’t forget our SleepDrops for Kids