Daylight savings time can often wreak havoc on even the most sound sleepers. But don’t let it get you down. Not this year. For 2020, especially when we could all use a generous helping of self-care, treat daylight savings as a time to refresh or reset your sleep habits.
“Healthy, quality, restful sleep has an abundance of mood-boosting benefits, including a stronger immune system,” says Sleep Better Austin’s expert, Dr. Brandon Hedgecock. “The fall daylight savings occurrence is generally a gentler one to adjust to because we gain an hour–or fall back–rather than lose an hour like in springtime. But it can still upset people’s circadian rhythm.”
The circadian rhythm is the body’s natural process for regulating sleep and wake cycles. It can be thrown off by differences in lightness and darkness outside, such as with the twice yearly time change.
As the clock strikes midnight on November 1, here are five tips to ensure a smooth transition and a good night’s sleep:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even if the light outside suggests otherwise.
- Create a cozy sleep environment in your bedroom. Make sure it is dark enough, that your pillows and mattress are comfortable, and that your bedroom temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Skip the urge to hop online or scroll through anything right before bed. Limit electronics at least 30 minutes before you are ready to turn in as the blue light emitted from devices can disrupt the circadian rhythm.
- Get plenty of fresh air and physical activity during the day which helps exhaust the body and makes it easier to fall asleep. With the slightly cooler weather, it is a great idea to get outdoors as much as possible!
- Try something new for a relaxing wind-down routine. Maybe take a warm bubble bath, start a new book, or taste test some comforting, fall-flavored herbal teas (make sure they are caffeine-free) right before bed.
If you are still having sleep issues, despite the time change, and you are a heavy snorer, you may be suffering from a condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when airways are obstructed causing snoring, struggled breathing, and disrupted sleep patterns. It can be treated with CPAP machines or a fitted oral appliance worn at night to open up the airways known as Oral Appliance Therapy. This often proves effective when other treatments have failed.
To learn more about sleep apnea treatment and how it can improve your sleep quality, please contact us to schedule a complimentary appointment with one of our experts in dental sleep medicine.