How Daylight Savings Affects Sleep, And How To Prepare

How Daylight Savings Affects Sleep, And How To Prepare

2022 Mar 11th

Spring Forward, Fall Back…Into Bed

With Spring just around the corner, so is the upcoming switch to Daylight Savings Time (DST), which is one of the first (slightly unusual) ways we prepare for the warmer, longer days of Summer!

The practice begins on the second Sunday in March (this year it will fall on the 13th), which is when we will be springing our clocks forward an hour - 7 o’clock will become 8 o’clock. For the first week or so you may feel extra sleepy in the morning, and less tired than usual at your regular bedtime.

Vacation Vibes…Sans Travel

For the first few days, you might experience what feels like mini jet lag. Except rather than visiting a different time zone, for those who observe daylight savings time, this is like a time zone that visits us (twice a year). Don’t forget to change your clocks (including your car and appliances), to help prevent yourself from running late. Not so fun!

By now you might be wondering - what’s the big deal? Changing the clock seems like a relatively small inconvenience! Well, it’s our internal body clock that needs the most time to adapt. This loosely refers to our circadian rhythm, which is an internal process that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.

Despite only moving the local time forward one hour, this yearly switch is enough to disrupt our circadian rhythm and to a certain degree, impair daytime functioning (supported by the spike in traffic incidents during this time).

Read on for our tips and save any hassle associated with the Daylight Savings switch.

Stay Under The Covers, But On Top Of Your Diet

Diet plays a role in nourishing our bodies, but as we’ve previously mentioned in our post 9 Tips for a Better Sleep, what we consume throughout the day also plays a role in moderating our sleep quality.

1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol - especially close to bedtime

Alcohol and caffeine consumption is detrimental to our sleep cycle. Alcohol impacts our body's ability to regulate its temperature effectively, and can cause us to overheat during our sleep (and maybe even cause nightmares - yikes!).

Caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Be aware that coffee is not the only culprit, most varieties of tea, including green tea, contain caffeine, as do energy drinks.

If you don’t wish to eliminate these completely, enjoy them in moderation, and try to avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol right before bed.

2. Prioritize eating a balanced diet to help your body adjust

The clock will already impact your sleep routine, so it’s important to not let your diet further throw you off. We know it can be tempting to indulge (why are the best treats in life of the ‘late night’ variety?!), but it might help to keep in mind how good it feels to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Vitamin D and B12 are associated with increased sleep quality, but generally speaking, a balanced diet is the best way you can help to improve your sleep routine. Every individual is different, but eating a variety of food groups is a good place to start.

Like caffeine, sugar also has a disruptive effect. This is a helpful rule of thumb: if it’s not beneficial to your overall health, it’s probably not beneficial to your sleep, either!

Don't Sacrifice Your Sleep Schedule

We know this is easier said than done, but just by anticipating the clock moving forward (or backward in the case of the November switch) you will be better equipped to overcome any sleep obstacles.

This may mean trying to go to bed earlier than usual to ensure you are getting enough sleep before waking up an hour early when DST comes into effect. If you need extra help getting adequate shut-eye, certain products may help you ease into the change.

3. Use an eye mask to block unwanted light (and unwanted wrinkles)

We always keep our Silk Eye Mask on hand to help us remain loyal to our bedtime, even when the days get longer and there’s less ‘nighttime’ to lull us asleep.

Using 100% silk, these masks offer a secondary advantage. This natural and oh-so-smooth fabric protects the delicate skin around your eyes, preventing it from tugging and creasing while you sleep. If you are a side sleeper or prone to tossing and turning during the night, this will be especially helpful in preserving the appearance of your skin.

4. Invest in deeper sleep year-round with a weighted blanket

For those who need extra help falling asleep, consider using a weighted blanket and enjoy drifting off while feeling relaxed, calm, and soothed.

We recommend our  weighted blankets and quilts for anyone who experiences frustration trying to fall asleep, particularly those for whom a ‘busy mind’ often gets in the way of a good night’s sleep. This is worth exploring as a natural alternative to other forms of sleep aid, and many describe this as feeling ‘hugged’ to sleep - who can object to that!

Pointers For Parents (Including Pet Parents)

If you are responsible for looking after young children, or furry friends, the transition to Daylight Savings Time may present a few additional challenges!

5. Ease into the transition by gradually changing the clock

To brace your little ones for the change, you might consider slowly easing into an “earlier” wake-up time, by putting the clock forward 15 minutes each day (on either side of the DST switch is fine).

6. Create a (stylish) sleep retreat with blackout curtains

A tried and true product adored by the parents of the Daylight Savings resistant among us is blackout draper curtains, which you can use to block out light AND noise. Not only that, but we’ve designed these to absorb heat - a must-have for those long, hot summer nights - potentially reducing your energy bill while increasing your family’s sleep. You can thank us later!

7. Keep the disruption to your pet’s dinner bite-sized

For those of us who have pets, there may be some confusion around set meal times. Just like us, dogs and cats have internal clocks and their habits don’t automatically change to keep up with the clock.

A gradual transition into the new routine may help. Even just moving your furry friend’s meals by 15-30 minute increments over a few days should do the trick!

Embrace The Change

When it comes to Daylight Savings Time, it’s certainly not all bad news. There is a lot to look forward to, including enjoying more daylight hours for those of us who are cooped up inside for most of the day.

8. Use the switch to inspire a new routine

We like to use this annual milestone as an opportunity to form new, healthier habits. This is the perfect time to revisit any new year resolutions you may be lagging behind on, and incorporate them into your day for years to come!

One suggestion - look at creating a relaxing nightly routine, incorporating activities or actions you do every night before bed. Perhaps you take a steamy shower or bath, meditate for 15 minutes, or read a chapter of a book before settling down for the night.

To power up your routine and help power down for the day, you might also challenge yourself to prohibit the use of screens for an hour or two before bedtime. Although difficult for most of us, once this becomes a habit you will probably find that you really look forward to this device-free part of your day, not to mention the sleep benefits.

9. Rejuvenating your sleeping space? Look to the season for inspiration

To spruce up our bedroom for spring, we love to gravitate towards fresh colour palettes and floral designs. This will let you fit right into the new season, and help make the time adjustment feel even more natural!

Our Frolic Duvet Cover is a great way to add that spirit of spring to your bedroom. With beautiful blooms in eye-catching garden hues, you'll be able to give your bed a whole new look that's bright as the new sunny weather.

Or for the minimalist, our Bamboo Cotton Duvet Cover in Blush adds a pleasing airy brightness to any room, while its Bamboo Cotton construction will help you stay cool when the temperatures start to rise.

For anyone wanting to give their bed a mini makeover, we recommend changing up your duvet to suit the season. We offer a large selection of duvets catering to all types of sleepers and preferences, from Light Warmth, Year-Round Warmth, and Extra Warmth.

We hope we’ve inspired you to embrace the upcoming change and prioritize getting the sleep you deserve - no matter what the clock says.

For extra advice on getting better sleep, you can book a free virtual consultation to learn more about our product solutions.

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