Pomerene Hospital Blog
Get Ready to Fall Back This Weekend
Are You Ready to “Fall Back” This Weekend?
Daylight Saving Time will end at 2:00 am on Sunday, November 2nd and we all know what that means: It’s time to set your clocks back an hour. Thanks to the extra hour, “falling back” is not as nearly as disruptive to our bodies as “springing forward.” Our bodies’ circadian rhythms, or natural biologic clocks, can usually adjust quickly to the additional hour. Because the biologic clock is slightly longer than 24 hours, it is usually much easier to sleep an hour later than to get up an hour earlier. Let’s admit it, we love our sleep!
There are millions of Americans who report trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep – from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as layoffs, relationship issues, or illnesses. It is no wonder that the quality of sleep is sometimes elusive. Although you may not be able to control all of the factors that interfere with your sleeping pattern, there are habits that you can adopt to encourage better sleep.
Start with these simple sleep tips offered by the National Sleep Foundation:1. Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends! This helps to regulate your body’s biologic clock, as we spoke about earlier, and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. Take this time to wind down. Have a relaxing routine before bedtime, such as soaking in a hot bath, reading or listening to soothing music. It is best to avoid electronics before bedtime.
3. Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. We are ALL guilty of napping. Every once in a while, nothing sounds more soothing than a nice, relaxing nap allowing us to simmer down after a productive day. Power napping may help you get through the day by keeping your nap between 20-30 minutes. Whatever you do, try not to avoid afternoon naps.
4. Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Get those running shoes on!
5. Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need to sleep. It should be dark, cool, quiet, and most of all comfortable.
6. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to go to sleep. It is good to finish eating at lease 2-3 hours before bedtime.
7. If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, computers and television out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for what it is made for.
Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Follow these healthy sleeping tips to encourage good sleep hygiene!
If you regularly experience daytime drowsiness, fatigue or disturbed sleep, speak to your doctor or consult with a sleep medicine specialist. You may do this by visiting Pomerene Hospital’s Sleep Lab Service.