How You Lose Sleep with Daylight Savings Time

Every year in this part of the country, we get to change our internal and physical clocks ahead one hour so we get more daylight hours and less darkness.

Here in the Northeast where it can start getting dark around 4 pm in the winter, more daylight can be a good thing. Yet some states–Arizona and Hawaii–do not observe DST.  Neither do the U.S. territories American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island.

Changing our internal clocks can lead to even more sleep deprivation and in some cases, physical ailments. The experts say we should get 8 hours of sleep a night.  Yet, a poll of 1000 people done by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that 58% of us rarely get a good nights sleep. And most of us get less than six hours of sleep a night which puts us at even greater risk of sleep deprivation. Although the poll was not broken down by gender, I suspect the bulk of the respondents were women.  Women who are already experiencing sleep deprivation will now have to adjust to even less sleep unless we change our approach to sleep.  Unlike software that can adjust your computer clocks automatically, our internal clocks don’t adjust to losing an hours sleep as easily.

I’m as guilty as the next person of trying to fit in one last chore before going to bed even though I know this just gets me all keyed up and takes me longer to fall asleep,

So, what steps can you take to make sure daylight savings time doesn’t cost you a loss of much needed rest and rejuvenation?

Here are some  things to avoid before bedtime that keep you from getting enough sleep: browsing the Internet, watching TV, household chores, worry and doing job related work before bedtime.

One way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep is to stop all unnecessary activity one hour prior to your bedtime. This gives you time to unwind and prepare for sleep. Instead of your usual bedtime routine [chores, TV, etc.], try some of these tips to make sure you’re not losing much needed sleep s with daylight savings time:

  1. Turn off the TV, especially if it’s in your bedroom. Depending on what you are watching, TV shows can be stressful and agitating further causing you to have a restless night.
  2. If you have difficulty falling asleep, listen to some soothing music.  Music is a relaxing way to drift off to sleep naturally.
  3. Write in a gratitude journal.  Placing your focus on things you are grateful for helps take your mind off day to day stresses.
  4. Meditation is an excellent way to quiet the mind
  5. Stick to a bedtime schedule.  Try to get in bed at the same time each night.  This teaches your body to wind down at  specific time and promotes the transition to sleep.

Sleep is the body’s way of resting.  Make it a priority to rest well so that you will have the energy to continue taking care of those you care about.

Start a conversation in the comment section about what you do to get enough rest.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time…

Gladys Anderson - Life Coach, Therapist, Author

 

Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping women balance the many demands on their time and energy, create limits that shift balance from overwhelm to energized, and live their lives with courage, confidence and clarity.

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