HOW SPRINGING FORWARD
CHANGES YOUR SLEEP
Synergy eTherapist: Patricia Evans, PhD, LP, DBSM
SPRING IS COMING!
It’s one of the most important aspects to wellbeing. Sleep. We all need it. In fact, we won’t survive without it. Our brain cannot function on a lack of sleep. You likely have already realized the consequences from a lack of sleep once or twice in your life.
Two times a year for most of us, we need to deal with an hour more or an hour less of sleep due to Daylights Savings Time (DST). Spring brings such glory for those of us in the cold part of the hemisphere.
However, along with more sunshine, more greenery and a hint of summer ahead with Spring comes the change to DST, which begins on Sunday, March 14th.
On that day, we will set our clocks forward one hour which gives us more light in the evenings and less light in the mornings.
But what does Daylight Savings have to do with sleep?
This time change interferes with and “delays” our circadian rhythms–our internal biological clock. Even with only an hour change, we can be more tired in the mornings and more alert at night than usual.
The change can cause some insomnia and can also increase the risk of heart attack, mood fluctuations and car accidents. Usually, our bodies adjust to this in a day or two, but for some people it can take longer, up to a few weeks.
Here are a few tips to help with this process:
1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed.
2. Keep a consistent sleep-wake schedule. Even on the weekends!
3. Get outdoors during the day. Light in the morning is especially helpful.
4. Shut off all electronics 1 – 1 ½ hours before bed.
5. You can also adjust your bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night for three nights before DST begins to help your body make this transition. If you have children, it is a good idea to do this with them as well.
What if my sleep doesn’t get back in rhythm?
Did you know there are some of us who specialize in behavioral sleep psychology? With specialized training and clinical experience, I can offer targeted, behavioral interventions to help you or a loved one (anyone ages 18months or older) get your sleep back on track!
You don’t need to suffer at nighttime, worrying about whether or not you will sleep tonight. Good quality sleep is something you can and deserve to have. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation to learn more!
Dr. Patricia Evans, Diplomate and Board Certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. She is able to work with anyone in Minnesota or Arizona.
Click HERE to set up a free consultation.