Avoid Post-Daylight Savings Time Sleep Deprivation

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It’s that time of the year again.  Time to get our sleep patterns messed up, be cranky and drive like dopes because we are tired.  Why do we even have Daylight Savings Time anyway?

Is it for the farmers?  Not so much, as they tend to prefer more morning sun to get their chores done.  Turns out the historical answer is to conserve energy.  It was thought that with more daylight, we would consume less energy in the form of lights.  However, that has not born fruit, so they say.  It seems in place of lights, people just use their heat and air conditioners more.  And let’s not forget those electronics!

While the debate rages on as to whether we should keep or do away with Daylight Savings Time, here are 10 tips to help you manage the change.  I plan on instituting a few of these, as some I have already mastered.  Numbers 8,9, and 10 have been part of my life for a LONG time.  I very much value sleep.

The time to start easing in is now!  Let’s commit to not being a sleep-deprived, cranky, bad-driving citizen on Monday.  And let’s not forget to think about Mother Earth and conserve energy where possible regardless of the time of year.

Better Sleep Council’s Top Ten Tips for Surviving Daylight Saving Time:

  1. Gradually Transition into the Time Change
    To minimize the impact of the switch to daylight saving time, make gradual adjustments. Go to bed 15 minutes early, starting several days before the change.
  2. Sleepy? Take a Quick Nap
    If you feel sleepy after the change to daylight saving time, take a short nap in the afternoon – no more than 20 minutes long.
  3. Commit to 7-8 Hours of Sleep
    The average adult needs 7-8 hours of quality sleep each and every night. Work backward from your wake time and commit to getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
  4. Keep Regular Sleep Hours
    Make sleep a priority by keeping consistent sleep (bedtime) and wake schedules – even on the weekends.
  5. Exercise during the Day
    Even moderate exercise, such as walking, can help you sleep better. Just make sure you don’t work out within two hours of bedtime.
  6. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol before Bed
    Alcohol and caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, etc.) can interfere with sleep habits. Smokers should also avoid tobacco before bed, as it can lead to poor sleep.
  7. Eat Light at Night
    Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bed. Eating too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep quality.
  8. Relax before Bed
    Create a bedtime ritual that is relaxing. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music, or soaking in a hot bath or shower.
  9. Create a Sleep Sanctuary
    Transform your room into a haven of comfort and relaxation by creating a sleep sanctuary. Make sure your room is cool, quiet and free of distraction for the best possible sleep.
  10. Evaluate Your Mattress and Pillows
    Evaluate your mattress and pillows for proper comfort and support. If your mattress is seven years old or older, it may be time for a new one. In general, pillows should be replaced every year.


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