So, many of us have fallen back through the time change and it is taking a toll on our sleeping habits. I feel a little out of balance and am taking exceptional care to allow my body to adjust. Falling back is not as difficult as springing forward but it is still an adjustment, nonetheless. Sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks to adjust to the new time change. Ah! This is an argument for not changing the time and just allowing the body and nature to do as it will. It would be great if we could have the ability to align with the earth’s circadian rhythm.
The tips below are not necessarily related to the time change but are overall great habits to improve your odds of having a great night’s sleep.
Have a regular sleep schedule
It is beneficial to have a regular sleep schedule that you adhere to every day. Just like when we were in the school and we had our weekday bedtime of 8:30 that mom made sure that we got in the bed at that time every night, OK most every night, this is a benefit so that your body knows without you having to tell it that it is bedtime. This makes it easy for you to get to sleep and stay asleep because your body is used to having that time to shut down to repair and rejuvenate. If possible, still stick with your regular bedtime and your regular time to waken.
Have a regular exercise routine
Having a regular exercise routine is a great way to release some of the stress and tension that is built up in our bodies and sometimes prevents sleep. By exercising as little as 15 minutes a day we release those hormones that address the stress hormones in our body. Be careful not to exercise too close to your bedtime due to your body being stimulated. But it is always a good idea to get your exercise on even if it is just a quick 15-minute walk in the neighborhood after a meal.
Reduce the use of electronic devices
This is one at which I am not so good. I removed the TV from my room which was a huge step for me because in the past I have been unable to sleep without the TV on. My sleep improved when I did that. I just needed to bite the bullet for a few days.
I do not consider it harmful the way that I use my phone at night, but the experts recommend not using it all. Just its presence can interrupt your sleep. I don’t know how many times I have received texts in the morning before I wake even though I have my phone on do not disturb. I do this because I listen to a book for 15 minutes as part of my nightly routine. I also sometimes listen to white noise or a meditation app. My favorite meditation app is Insight Timer. I have also heard great things about CALM. One of my friends shared this sleep meditation with me just today. Michael Sealey has a love YouTube channel with a lot of meditations. I love his voice! Check it out here!
Reduce your consumption of caffeine before bedtime
Research shows that consuming caffeine four to six hours prior to bedtime blocks chemicals that signal your body to start the repair process during sleep. Remember caffeine is not just in coffee. You can find it in soda, iced tea, chocolate, and various over-the-counter medications. Check your labels. I like to wind down in the evening with herbal teas and sparkling waters. I sometimes take an extra step by putting my water in a special glass and adding a twist of lemon or lime.
Set up the room quick tips
- Keep the room cool. Research shows the ideal temperature for sleep is between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep your room and bed clear of clutter.
- Eliminate all the lights in the room.
- If you are tired, go to bed. Don’t fight it. Your body is telling you what you need.
Sweet Dreams with Love and light!