Five simple tools to improve your sleep instead of letting daylight saving time knock your sleep schedule out of whack.
Thank you to Natrol for sponsoring this post.
How do feel about daylight saving time? Do you love the idea of springing ahead because it means the long, cold winter is coming to an end? Or do you dread daylight saving time because you will be losing a precious hour of sleep? Living in Minnesota, I can relate to both! Spring can not come fast enough for me – but as a parent, I admit I stress a bit about sleep routines for both my kids and myself because we all get pretty cranky when we don’t get enough sleep!
So how about we make a pact? Instead of worrying about sleep during the daylight saving time switch, lets’s make a commitment to reset our sleep schedules and actually improve our sleep! We can do this!
5 Tools to Improve Your Sleep
Anyone interested in health has heard that lack of sleep can lead to some serious health problems. Sleep loss also hurts concentration and judgement, it ages your skin (they call it beauty sleep for a reason), and can even lead to weight gain. Plus, you just feel better when you get good sleep and that makes life more joyful and helps you be your best self.
You might think there’s not much you can do to improve your sleep – that it’s a deeply ingrained pattern that would be hard to change. That’s true in a sense – your circadian clock helps you fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. But the good news is – there are many ways to get better sleep that are totally in your control.
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The best way to improve your sleep is to set yourself up ahead of time for a good night’s sleep. Here are 5 tools to do that:
Have a Tech-Free Bedtime Routine
You’re gonna hate me for this, but you really gotta put away your phone before you get into bed. And preferably the iPad and eReader too. That’s because blue light from phones and other electronics disrupts our circadian rhythms and can decrease sleep quality. Instead curl up with a real book (from the library if you want to save trees) and enjoy some healthy down-time before you turn off the light.
Tip: Try hard to keep a regular bedtime for you and your kids – even when daylight saving time happens. Regular schedules are one of the best tools for healthy sleep.
Calm Down with Essential Oils
If you’ve never used essential oils, you are in for a treat! Natural essential oils like lavender, chamomile, cedarwood, ylang ylang and sandalwood are known for promoting relaxation and sleep. A few different ways you can use essential oils before bed: plug in an aromatherapy diffuser, use an aromatherapy roll-on on your pulse points or spray your pillow with an essential oil blend.
Tip: Keep a basket of sleep inducing essential oils on your bedside table so they are ready when you need them.
Block Light with an Eye Mask
One of the hardest aspects of the daylight saving time switch is going to bed when it’s still light out. I know my kiddos complained about that more than once! If outside light is keeping you awake, I recommend going to sleep with an eye mask on. If you’re like me, you pull it off in the middle of the night and let the natural light wake you up in the morning.
Tip: Put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your eye mask to help you relax!
Use White Noise to Tune Out Distracting Sounds
If outside noise is keeping you from getting to sleep, a white noise machine might be just the ticket. These small radio-like gadgets play a variety of soothing sounds like rain, ocean waves or simple static to drown out other distractions and create a relaxing environment for sleep.
Tip: Buy a sound machine with a timer so it won’t be on all night long.
Take Melatonin to Reset Your Body Clock
We talked earlier about how important our circadian clock is to getting a good night’s sleep. The hormone that plays a key part in maintaining circadian rhythm is melatonin. We produce melatonin naturally but there are some circumstances where taking a melatonin supplement can be very beneficial – especially for things like jet lag, time zone changes and daylight saving time.
I’ve found melatonin to be very helpful for managing sleep schedule changes – both seasonally and during travel. Even having to adjust your sleep schedule by one hour can cause fatigue and impact your health. But with the right preparation, including using Natrol® Melatonin, you don’t have to let Daylight Saving Time wreak havoc on your sleep and well-being. I personally love Natrol Melatonin because it is a trusted brand and it comes in fast-dissolve tablets that are easy to take without water. Natrol Melatonin assists in establishing regular sleep patterns and helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake up feeling refreshed.† Given the importance of sleep on our health, taking an occasional melatonin supplement makes complete sense to me!
You can find Natrol® Melatonin online, and at many local stores like Walgreens, Costco, Sprouts and other natural food stores.
Tip: Take Natrol Melatonin at the onset of daylight saving time and continue until you feel your sleep schedule is back to normal.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.