It’s that time of year again – the time to spring (a.k.a stumble) forward into daylight savings. On March 12th we will be setting our clocks ahead by one hour. While it may not sound like a big deal, this time change can have a serious impact on sleep quality for people of all ages.
Instead of letting your sleep suffer, arm yourself with the following tips and tricks for surviving daylight savings time:
Ease into It
Make the transition into daylight saving smoother for you and your family by starting early. Beginning five days ahead, set bedtimes 15 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm clock to wake up 15 minutes early. Continue changing your sleep schedule by 15 minutes per day for the next three days. By the time March 12th rolls around, your household’s sleep schedule will be right on track!
Use a Natural Sleep Aid
If you’re already prone to sleep disruptions or occasional insomnia, daylights savings can be a particularly difficult adjustment. For additional support in the evening, Natural Factors offers a range of natural health products formulated specifically as stress and sleep solutions. They contain ingredients such as:
- Melatonin – a natural human sleep hormone that works with the body’s internal cycles to reset the “biological clock.”
- 5-HTP – a sleep aid and also provides support for emotional well-being. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin.
- L-Theanine – a calming amino acid found in green tea that supports mental calmness and relaxation.
- Magnesium – a mineral that helps in tissue and proper muscle function.
- Valerian – a traditional herb used to help promote sleep.
- Kava Kava – Used in herbal medicine as a calmative and/or sleep aid
Eat Your Way to Sleep
Your diet can have a serious impact on your sleep! While some foods, such as those that contain caffeine, spice, and alcohol, are known to disrupt sleep when consumed late in the day, others, such as chamomile tea, walnuts, and cherries, may support it. But instead of focusing on specific sleep-inducing foods, many studies suggest that a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is the best recipe for a good night’s sleep .
Spend Time in the Sunshine
If all goes well, you’ll be presented with a sunny day on March 12! Spending time in the sunshine can help improve your quality of sleep and make it easier to develop a healthy sleep pattern .
Schedule a Mid-Day Workout
Exercise may help advance your internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep at bedtime . The trick is to schedule your workout earlier in the day so that your body has time to cool down and relax for at least a few hours.
Get up on Time
Even if this means stumbling around your home half awake, commit to getting yourself and your children out of bed on time on March 12th. This will support your transition into daylight savings time.
 Peuhkuri, Katri, Nora Sihvola, and Riitta Korpela. “Diet Promotes Sleep Duration and Quality.” Nutrition Research, 2012; Vol 32: 309-19.
 Lee, Hayan, Kim Sunho, and Donghee Kim. “Effects of Exercise With or Without Light Exposure on Sleep Quality and Hormone Responses.” Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry, 2014; Vol 18.3: 293-9.