How to sleep: Top tips for better sleep when the clocks go back for winter
It’s that time of year again, when summer has finally parted ways and we must accept winter is coming. As the clocks go back for one hour so a person’s sleep may be greatly affected. What are the top tips to help improve your sleep?
The clock change means an unexpected shift in the external cues which help our internal body clock to maintain a 24-hour circadian rhythm track, such as light, temperature, exercise and food/drink intake.
It can take several days for our internal biological clock to adjust, and for some people, this leads to disrupted sleep and feeling tired during the day.
Our circadian rhythm is closely linked to sleep. It responds to light during the day to keep us awake.
At night it signals our body to produce melatonin (the sleep-promoting hormone) to help us sleep.
If you’re struggling to get to sleep following the clock change, try not to worry as this can just exacerbate the problem. Instead try these handy tips get a good night’s sleep and feel energised the following day.
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Establish a bedtime routine
When daylight saving time ends, it’s especially important to stick with a bedtime routine.
Routine is what helps create a powerful signal for sleep.
By performing the same activities in the same order every night, your brain comes to see those activities as a precursor to sleep. Take a warm bath. Have a bedtime team. Read a book.
Whatever it takes to help you relax and unwind.
Leave the electronics alone
Electronic devices, including computers, televisions, smartphones, and tablets, all emit strong blue light.
When you use these devices, that blue light floods your brain, tricking it into thinking it’s daytime.
As a result, your brain suppresses melatonin production and works to stay awake.
Shutting your eyes midday is tempting, especially if you’re feeling sluggish.
But avoiding naps is key for adjusting to the time change, as long daytime naps could make it harder for you to get a full night’s sleep.
Naps can end up making a person feel more tired, groggy, and sleep deprived.
Other top tips to help improve your sleep include:
- Change the temperature in your room.
- Choose the bedding (and sleep position) that’s best for you
- Declutter your bedroom
- Pick the perfect pillow for you
- Use lavender scent for calm and relaxation
- Avoiding eating a big meal before bedtime.
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