Get ready to feel a little out of whack this week. Even though we get lucky in the fall and actually gain an hour on the clock at the end of Daylight Saving Time, that extra hour may not actually feel so great by midweek. We may be grumpy, tired and out of sorts all the same. Here are some things to do to help combat that sense of being out of sync with the change in the clock.
- Go to bed at a normal hour, or even slightly earlier, on Sunday night in order to bank some sleep during the transition. Yes, a little extra sleep here or there can help your body catch up with your brain during the next week as your rhythms adjust, even if you gain an hour.
- Don’t mess with your morning schedule. Stick to what the clock says and get up when the alarm goes off, even if you think you have an extra hour to sleep in.
- Use this time to reassess your exercise habits. If you are exercising regularly, you are indirectly giving yourself the gift of healthy sleep. If you feel sluggish this week, try adding brisk walks in the morning to help get your day started.
- Watch what you eat: With the extension of nights and shortening of days, we may crave comfort food that’s outside the goals of a more healthy diet. Eating heavy, high calorie food too late into the evening will tax your sleep cycles. Eating more healthfully can help you sleep better.
- You can try some melatonin. This is a subject for a more lengthy discussion, but for now, a reminder: even though it’s easy to purchase over the counter, melatonin is still a drug and must be taken properly (in terms of both timing and dosage) in order to work. Also, it can cause drowsiness and might interact with your other medications. Melatonin can also come in doses that are higher than you might actually need, so please consult with your pharmacist and/or doctor about using melatonin.
- Don’t fret! Your rhythms should only take a couple of days to reset, and then you’ll be back to your normal rhythms. Some people, especially night owls, may take longer to adjust.