A week ago, daylight savings dropped our clocks back an hour. Some of you might not have noticed the time change. Others might still be tossing and turning before you can fall asleep. Moving our clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue -light. Our 24-hour rhythm, or circadian clock, depends on light and must reset when this occurs. If you are having trouble adjusting your sleep schedule to the time change, here are a few tips on making a smooth transition:
1. Determine your desired waking time
The first step to changing your sleep schedule is determine a goal. Consider how long your morning routine takes.
- What time do you have to be at work?
- Do you work out in the morning?
- Do you need to get the kids ready for school?
Find a waking time that gives you the flexibility to get your morning routine done without stress of being late.
2. Calculate your optimal sleeping time
Some people are energized after five hours of sleep while others need eight. One way to determining your optimal sleep amount is to keep a sleep log. Document that number of hours you sleep per night for two or three weeks. Record how you felt after that number. After you determine the number that you need, subtract that number from your desired waking time.
For example, if your optimal sleeping time is seven hours and your desired waking time is 6 am, you need to go to bed by 11 pm.
3. Alter your sleep schedule gradually
Changing your sleep schedule does not always occur on night one. Especially with the time change, you might need more time to adjust. Change your sleep schedule half an hour at a time. Sleep for three nights with that half hour change before adding more time.
4. Set your alarm to the time that you actually want to get up
Getting out of bed can be a painful process! We might hit our snooze button two or three times before getting out of bed. You might even set your alarm a half hour early to plan for your snoozing time.
Unfortunately, you are losing a half hour of valuable sleep. Snoozing can also cause stress and tiredness throughout the rest of your day. Set your alarm for the time you need to get up at and then get up!
5. Be consistent
So you calculated your sleeping time. For a week you have woken at the desired time without pressing the snooze button. You deserve a sleep-in day for your progress… right?
The key to adjusting your sleep is staying consistent. This might be difficult at first since you are breaking habits. Stick with changing your sleep schedule.
6. Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down your body. While this can help you fall asleep, you can severely disrupt a healthy sleep cycle. Alcohol interferes with your metabolism and brain cycle. You are more likely to wake often with alcohol in your system.
7. Avoid using your phone an hour before bed
Turn off all electronics an hour before bed. Your phone and television screen transmits light which makes your brain think that it is day time. If your mind is active late at night then you are less likely to be able to fall asleep.
Instead of watching television or playing on your computer, try reading a book, journaling, playing an instrument, or drawing. These relaxing activities can help you have a healthy night’s sleep.
8. Wait until bedtime to sleep
While naps can be tempting, mid-day snoozes make falling asleep in the evening more difficult. A nap can be especially disruptive if you are trying to change your sleep schedule. If you must nap, try to not make it longer than 20 minutes.
9. Turn on white noise.
Light music can be especially soothing when you are changing your sleep cycle. Bedphones are the thinnest headphones on the market to help you get the sleep that you need. Nature sounds, white noise, and meditation chants are soothing sounds that can help you get a good night's sleep. Avoid music with lyrics.
Adjusting to the time change can be difficult for many of us. If you are having a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, it is important to first set realistic goals according to your lifestyle. Stick to your new sleep schedule. Chances are, you have built some unhealthy sleeping habits. Changing your sleep schedule is not impossible! Your Bedphones can help you adjust to get the restful night’s sleep that you need.