Congratulations! You made it through what felt like the longest winter ever!
Daylight savings is behind us, the sun and fresh air are a welcome change, and the birds are singing cheerfully (first thing in the morning).
So, what does this mean for our sleep?
Most of us are finally adjusting to the new time. We are feeling excited to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. It is the best time of year, however, these changes can have a big impact on our sleep.
As the days become longer, it will be daylight much later in the day and will be much brighter earlier in the morning. Light and darkness regulate our circadian rhythm. When our exposure to the blue light from the sun ends, melatonin sends it’s signal to our brain that it is time to get ready for sleep. Late exposure to blue light (either from the sun or other sources such as our cell phones and televisions) can hinder this process and make it difficult to fall asleep.
In order to keep our sleep on track during these seasonal changes, here are my go-to suggestions:
1. Use blackout blinds. Trying to go to sleep in a well-lit room can be very difficult. Light can send a signal to your brain that it isn’t time to go to sleep yet.
A bright room at bedtime can also cause a battle with your child who doesn’t feel they should have to go to bed when it is still light outside. If they spend their bedtime routine in their bedroom with the blinds closed, when it is time to shut the lights off they won’t even know it’s still light outside.
2. Sleep with your windows closed. It will be tempting to open the windows to sleep with the fresh air, however, the birds start chirping around 4:30 am and that can wake you up, especially since you aren’t used to that sound in the early morning hours.
3. Try to keep to the same sleep schedule each day – even on the weekends. This can be tough when you want to sleep in after a hectic week but sleep-ins on the weekends lead to really tough Monday mornings.
Since you are sleeping in a dark room without the sunlight to tell your body it’s time to get up, the next best thing is consistency. Your body will adjust to going to sleep and waking at the same time so you won’t have to rely on the sun.
If you are still struggling to get your sleep back on track after the time change or are dealing with other sleep complications, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sleepwise.ca for more tips and information about how to improve the quality of your sleep!