While many of you are planning your Halloween weekend, it’s worth noting that Sunday, November 1st is the end of daylight savings. Who’s happier about getting that extra hour of sleep!? That being said, just because it’s the time change that gives you more sleep, it doesn’t mean the adjustment is easier on your body. We’ve got some tips to help you adjust to the change so it has minimal impact on your energy.
Don’t Eat Too Early or Late
There are countless health studies that late night snacking can interfere with your natural sleep schedule. Step 1? Ditch the evening snacks.
Your circadian rhythm regulates your sleep-wake cycle and can be strongly influenced by your eating schedule. Eating too early in the morning or too late at night can throw off your sleep schedule, which is why there is a diet entirely designed around your circadian rhythm: you eat in a 12-hour window (during daylight) and fast for 12-hours (during darkness).
Start Adjusting Your Sleep Schedule
There are a number of ways that you can ease your body into a new sleep schedule (including adjustments a week prior to the end of Daylight Savings), but the simplest method only takes one day.
Go to bed at the same time you usually would on October 31st, but get up an hour earlier than you naturally wake up. The Daylight Savings time change will have an impact you, but by getting up an hour earlier, you will likely also be tired an hour earlier. This means you’ll be getting the same amount of sleep as usual, so long as you go to bed an hour earlier than usual and then wake up the following day at your normal time.
Try to Eliminate the Alarm Clock
Along this same line of thought, it’s essential that you listen to your body and get up when it tells you it’s time. While many of us rely on alarm clocks (and will go back to sleep if the alarm hasn’t gone off yet), it’s actually unhealthy for your sleep cycle. Instead, you’ll feel much more energized if you listen the natural sleep schedule of your body.
This means that if you usually wake up at 9 a.m. but you naturally are awake at 8 a.m., don’t roll back over and fall asleep. Instead, get up and start your day.
The best way to achieve a natural cycle is to determine when you naturally wake up, and do some backwards math to determine when you would need to go to bed to get a full night’s rest. Consistency is key, so try to stick to this schedule as often as possible.
If you’re unable to naturally wake up for work (or if you simply don’t trust yourself to get up in time), there are alternative alarm clock options that are less jarring, such as the Sunrise Alarm Light, that are designed to naturally ease you out of sleep without an annoying alarm (click here).
Designate Your Bed for Sleep
Last, but definitely not least: your bed should be for sleep, and sleep alone. The biggest culprit behind difficulty sleeping is technology – whether that’s your phone, the TV or an e-reading device.
While it’s not realistic to only stay in bed if you’re asleep, be careful about spending too much time in bed when you’re awake.
As we prepare to fall back an hour on Sunday, November 1st, we can train our bodies in as little as a day to prepare for the transition. You’ll not only enjoy your Halloween weekend celebration, but will also feel great come Monday morning!