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The fall time change is usually considered to be something positive – unlike the change to Daylight Savings in the spring, in the fall we gain an hour.
However, according to Harvard Health, most people don’t actually get to enjoy the extra hour of sleep when the clocks go back. In the week following the time change, most people wake up earlier, have more trouble falling asleep, and are more likely to get up during the night. People who tend to get less than 7.5 hours a night and those who get up early have the most trouble adjusting to the change of hour.
How to adapt your sleep schedule when the clocks go back
If you’re worried about disruptions to your sleep, there are a number of measures you can take to combat them. These include:
- Easing yourself into the transition the week before by going to sleep and waking up 10-15 minutes later each day.
- After the change, taking a small dose of melatonin several hours before your intended bedtime can help shift the timing of your sleep to match the new time.
- Getting as much sunlight in the morning as possible can help you get accustomed to the new sleep/wake schedule. If you live somewhere with little light in the mornings, a light box or a special desk lamp that simulates the sun can help reset your circadian rhythm.
How to assist in improving your sleep quality throughout the year
You’re more likely to suffer disruptions due to the fall time change if you already struggle to get more than 7.5 hours’ sleep. Luckily, there are multiple ways you can work on improving your sleep throughout the year, not just when the clocks go back.
Regular exercise has myriad health benefits, and many studies show that it can also help you get a better night’s sleep. It has been shown to reduce all symptoms of insomnia, halve the time it takes you to drop off, and provide 41 more minutes of sleep. So, find a form of exercise you like and work it into your routine. However, be careful not to do it too close to bedtime, because for some people, that can cause them to feel more wide awake.
2. Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day
Avoiding caffeine late in the day is a no-brainer for most people looking to get a better night’s sleep, but did you know that alcohol should also be avoided? Although many people use alcohol to help them unwind and get to sleep at night, it can actually disrupt your sleep pattern. It does this by altering the production of melatonin, the hormone which has a role in controlling your sleep-wake cycle.
3. Make your bedroom a relaxing environment
Make your bedroom a place that’s conducive to sleep by blocking out light and noises from the street with black-out curtains and double glazed windows. Setting the right temperature – for most people around 20°C – and investing in a comfortable mattress and pillow are also key ways of making your bedroom the best place to drop off.
4. Have a relaxing bedtime routine
Set yourself up for a restful night’s sleep in the hours before bed by limiting screen time, since the blue light emitted can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Instead, try doing some gentle yoga, meditating, having a warm bath, or reading a book.
5. Find the right pillow for your needs
Having the right pillow can go a long way in helping you get the proper rest you need each night. Read below to discover some tips and tricks to finding the right option for your sleep routine.
Identify your sleeping style
Your needs will change depending on whether you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper, which is why it’s important to understand your preferred position.
Decide on firmness and loft
Pillows vary in their loft (the compressed height of the pillow) and firmness, meaning it’s prudent to test out a few options to find the right fit for you.
Explore our wide selection
Check out our wide range of pillows online and in-store to find one that’s best suited to your body and sleeping style.
Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of maintaining good health. These tips can help you master your sleep cycle following the change of hour and throughout the year.
The information presented in this blog post is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.