The fact is, most people don’t get enough sleep even during the best of times. Daylight Saving Time is around the corner, and the time difference can pack a surprising punch to your internal clock. It can take up to a week to adjust, which can leave you groggy in the daytime and not ready for bed in the nighttime.
While it’s great to have more hours of daylight and to enjoy those light-filled evenings, losing one hour can really throw you off your sleep schedule. One thing people have been increasingly turning to is melatonin — a sleep aid that helps you fall asleep and reset your sleep-wake cycle† — to help in times like these. Read on for five other things you can do to quickly adjust your and your family’s sleep schedule.
1. Wind your body’s clock back
Go to bed a little earlier every night this week: For example, try 15 minutes earlier on Wednesday, 30 on Thursday, and 45 on Friday, so that by Saturday night you are already going to bed an hour early, and you’re ready to spring forward on Daylight Saving.
If your kids or spouse aren’t shifting their sleep schedules, you’ll have a tough time changing yours. So, get the entire family ready for the time change for their benefit and yours, too.
No matter your age, physical activity has been proven to help you sleep better at night. Exercising in the morning can help reset your body’s clock so you’re sleepier at bedtime.
However, keep in mind that strenuous exercise right before bedtime can make it harder to settle down for a good night’s rest.
3. Wind down early
When your internal clock is thrown off due to the time change, you need to give yourself more time to slow down and get ready for sleep. Limit mentally stimulating activities late in the evening, like television, video games and playing on your smartphone.
Turn off the gadgets an hour or so before bedtime and pick up a book, de-stress with soothing music, meditation, a warm bath, or any other activity you find relaxing. This is especially important for children, who can be easily overstimulated by electronic entertainment, so avoid leaving them in the bedroom.
4. Put a cork in it!
Alcohol makes you drowsy, but it can degrade the quality of your sleep. Skip that glass of wine. Instead try to eat sleep-friendly foods such as sweet potatoes, turkey and broccoli.
5. Create an ideal bedroom environment
For the best night’s sleep, most people need cool, quiet rooms that are as dark as possible. A sound machine can help soothe you to sleep and drown out outside noises. The longer days delay the natural production of melatonin. Blackout shades can help.
6. Consider taking a melatonin supplement
If you’re still not sleepy at your new target bed time or you or your child is having trouble adjusting, consider a low-dose melatonin supplement such as Natrol Melatonin and Kids Melatonin.
Melatonin can help you overcome sleep disruptions like Daylight Saving by resetting your sleep-wake cycle.† It is pediatrician-recommended* and 100% drug-free. To find Natrol Melatonin in a store near you, visit Natrol.com.
Whether you’re coping with Daylight Saving Time, symptoms of jet lag from a trip, or just have occasional difficulty relaxing and getting to sleep, all of these tips can help you get the rest you need to feel and be your best.
*Recommended by The Canadian Paediatric Society