Why is it so Hard to Adjust to Daylight Savings Time?

March 16, 2012

Daylight Savings Time is here!  That means longer days with more sunlight and the promise of spring.  Yet, many people struggle to adjust to the time change and feel sleepier than normal at odd times of the day.  Why is this?

We did some basic research online to shed a little light on this mystery.   It turns out that it just takes a one-hour time change to mess with our circadian rhythms and our “body clocks”.  So, when your alarm went off this morning, your brain knew it was time to get up but your body didn’t get the memo.  And, when you get home tonight, your brain will be delighted that it’s still light outside, but your body will be confused about what time it really is.  In several days time, brain and body should meet up and get on the same page.  But, what to do until then?

Check out these tips from the National Sleep Foundation on everyday sleep habits that can ease the time change and help us sleep better every night: 

    <li >Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.

  1. Use bright light to help manage your “body clock.” Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
  2. Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
  3. Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
  4. Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  5. Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write them in a “worry book” so you can address those issues the next day.
  6. If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
  7. Exercise regularly, but avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime.
  8. If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or “stop breathing” episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening.

(The content above is owned by the National Sleep Foundation and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of the National Sleep Foundation.)

Did you see tip #5?  That’s right, we often overlook the role our bedroom environment – including the mattress – plays in the quality of our sleep.    This is why Serta and the National Sleep Foundation recently partnered to conduct a national poll about the bedroom environment.  We’ll have the results to share with you in the coming weeks – plus an exciting contest where you can nominate someone in your life to win a new mattress.

Until then, we hope you find these tips helpful, and remember that you can always learn more about Serta’s partnership with the National Sleep Foundation and our new Perfect Sleeper mattresses by visiting http://bit.ly/perfectsleeper.

 

 

 

 

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