Daylight Savings Recovery Guide
If daylight savings time crept up on you, and you didn't have time to properly transition into losing an hour of sleep, I put together a recovery guide to get you back on track to your beauty sleep. I don't know about you, but I don't handle losing an hour of sleep too well. With our busy lives, it can be a struggle to even hit the recommend 8 hours of sleep a night, so when it comes to losing another one of our precious hours, it can really take its toll on our bodies. Sleep is such an important function for the human body. Catching the proper amount of z's every night can help the body to heal, rest, and recover from the previous day's work and strain. Try out these tips to bounce back to your normal sleep cycle right away, despite losing that hour!
Get on a schedule and stick with it
This is much easier said than done, but creating a sleep schedule that you actually stick with can be very beneficial, not only for adjusting to the time change, but also for having quality sleep all the time. Based on your sleep needs and lifestyle, decide what time you'd like to go to bed and wake up everyday and stick with this. Your body will love this routine and learn when to get sleepy and when to feel awake. It may be tempting, but make sure you don't neglect your sleep schedule on the weekends, which will just make it more difficult to adjust again on Monday.
Stay active during the day
Exercising during the day, even if it's only for 30 minutes, can be a big help when adjusting to a new bedtime. Try to fit activity into your day, whether it's going to the gym, walking around your neighborhood, or taking a hike. Just make sure to pick an activity that you enjoy and will stick with, and try to do it 4-5 times per week for more sound sleep at night.
Put away the electronics
I know it's tempting to check your Instagram feed one last time before bed, but use your self-control not to! The bright light and stimulating content of our electronic devices (TV, phone, iPad, etc.) can make it very hard for the brain to calm down enough in order to sleep, so when used right before bed, it can keep you up for another hour or so. If your bedtime comes around and you aren't ready yet, try enjoying a relaxing activity in bed, such as reading a book or listening to quiet music. These calming activities will help you to become drowsy when you just aren't feeling like sleep.
Sip on something soothing
If your earlier bed time isn't working for you, try sipping on some Chamomile tea before bed. This tea is naturally decaffeinated so you don't have to worry about it keeping you up, and natural compounds in the tea work as a mild sedative, reducing anxiety and helping you to fall asleep faster. On top of this, it is also very relaxing to drink a warm beverage before bed, which will be another way it helps you to fall asleep.
Get up, even if it's hard
Avoid the temptation to catch those few extra z's in the morning. You will essentially be prolonging your adjustment, and will feel the consequences at a later time. When your alarm goes off, force yourself to get up (check out my tips on waking up here) and start your day. If your still feeling sleepy when the afternoon hits, try taking a very brief nap, no longer then 20 minutes, and not too late into the day. This will help you to re-energize without disrupting your sleep for the night to come.
The best way to handle daylight savings time is to prepare beforehand, so next year, try to adjust slowly to the new sleep schedule before you lose the hour. The week before the time change, try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day, up until you hit an hour. By the time daylight savings comes around, it won't feel as difficult to get up and adjust to the new time.
Hopefully these tips help you in getting back into a normal sleep schedule! What do you do to help get back on track with your sleep? Share with me in the comments!