Adjusting back to Standard Time in the fall can disrupt our sleep patterns, leaving us feeling groggy and disoriented. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the best sleep routine to help you smoothly adjust to the time change. From practical tips to expert insights, you'll find everything you need to make the transition as easy as possible.
Understanding Daylight Savings Standard Time
Daylight Savings Standard Time, often referred to as "Fall Back," is a practice where we set our clocks back by one hour to make better use of natural daylight during the winter months. While the end of DST is generally less disruptive than the start in March, it can still affect your circadian rhythm and your sleep schedule as our bodies need time to adapt to the new schedule. To make this adjustment smoother and maximize the benefits of gaining an extra hour of sleep we recommend a bedtime schedule.
Bedtime Schedule for Fall back
Mark your calendar with the date when DST ends, typically the first Sunday in November. Decide on your new sleep schedule, keeping in mind that you'll be setting the clocks back by one hour. It is recommended that you begin by assessing your current sleep habits, including your bedtime, wake-up time, and sleep duration
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Create a consistent pre-sleep routine that signals to your body that it's time to sleep. For example, you could brush your teeth, wash your face, and do some light stretching. Make sure your routine allows for at least 7-9 hours of sleep, depending on your individual needs.
Before going to bed on the night of the time change, set all your clocks back by one hour to standard time. This will help align your external cues with your internal body clock.
Limit Time in Bed While Awake
If you find yourself awake in bed for more than 20-30 minutes, get up and engage in a calming activity until you feel drowsy. This prevents associating the bed with wakefulness.
An hour before bedtime, start winding down by engaging in relaxing activities. This can include reading a book, taking a warm bath, practicing deep breathing exercises, listening to calming music, or practicing relaxation exercises like deep breathing or meditation.
Create a Relaxing Evening Environment
Dim the lights in your home during the evening to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Keep it dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. Avoid screens (phones, tablets, TVs) at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can interfere with your sleep.
Things To Avoid
Avoid caffeine and heavy, spicy, or rich foods close to bedtime, as they can disrupt your sleep. On the day of the time change, also try to avoid long daytime naps, as they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at your new bedtime. Also try to limit any sudden changes in your sleep schedule. Gradual adjustments are better for your body's internal clock.
Wake Up with Natural Light
In the morning, open your curtains or blinds to expose yourself to natural daylight. This helps regulate your circadian rhythm.
Set a fixed wake-up time that remains the same even on weekends. stick to your new sleep schedule, even on weekends. This helps your body adjust more effectively.
Benefits of a Bedtime schedule
Better Sleep Quality
A structured bedtime routine helps improve the quality of your sleep, ensuring you get the most restorative rest possible.
Gradually adjusting your sleep schedule and creating a bedtime routine makes the transition out of DST smoother, reducing the shock to your body's internal clock.
Maximized Extra Hour
By following a routine, you can make the most of the additional hour gained during the time change, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
Improved Overall Health
Consistent sleep patterns are associated with better overall health, including improved mood, cognitive function, and physical well-being.
Minimized Sleep Deprivation
By adhering to a regular schedule and ensuring sufficient sleep, you avoid sleep deprivation and its associated negative effects on physical and mental health.
Long-Term Sleep Benefits
Adjusting to Daylight Savings Standard Time doesn't have to be a challenging ordeal. By following the best sleep routine and incorporating the tips and insights provided in this comprehensive guide, you can transition smoothly and enjoy restful nights even as the clocks fall back.
Q: How long does it take to adjust to the time change?
A: It typically takes about a week for most people to fully adjust to the new time, but individual experiences may vary.
Q: Is it okay to use sleep aids during this adjustment period?
A: It's best to consult with a healthcare professional before using sleep aids. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs.
Q: Can children and seniors follow the same sleep routine?
A: Sleep needs vary by age. Children and seniors may require different sleep routines, so it's essential to tailor them accordingly.