Looking forward to an extra hour in bed when the clocks go back? While that one extra hour may look like a seasonal gift, occasionally getting your body in sync with the new time and season may prove tricky and affect your sleep cycle.
Help is at hand thanks to Dave Gibson, Warren Evans bed makers’ sleep expert. Dave is a qualified naturopath, osteopath and hypnotherapist and he provides advice across a wide range of conditions to promote good sleep patterns and quality sleep.
These top sleep tips will help you manage the extra hour more easily and generally have a more relaxed change of season.
Readjust Bed Time
Changing your bedtime can be tricky so try to do it over a period of time; changing the time you go to bed by half an hour can ease the transition.
Get in Sync
Changing bedtime won’t work if the rest of your routine is still set to the old time. As your bedtime shifts, be sure to make gradual changes to the rest of your routine.
Wind down in the evenings
Even if you are gaining an extra hour, it is still vital that you always remember good practice which is winding down in the evenings to make sure you are ready for a deep, quality night’s sleep ahead. Have a bath to relax before bedtime; opt for a book to take to bed instead of your mobile phone.
Account for the hour
Why not stretch out your extra hour by some me-time or a spot of gentle stretching? Make the most of daytime by keeping lights bright and curtains open a little longer to stay awake.
Set the scene
In the night, keep the temperature cool and use black out blinds to ensure the bedroom is completely dark and it is the right environment for good quality sleep. Black out blinds will also stop you from being woken up too early by the morning light.
Healthy eating is important throughout the day but even more so in the evenings closer to bedtime. Stay away from drinks that contain caffeine and things that contain lots of sugar, especially late in the day, as these will mean an untimely boost in energy.
If you’re looking for a bedtime snack, try milk, banana or cherries. Milk contains tryptophan, which increases the amount of serotonin a natural sedative, and is absorbed better if eaten with a carbohydrate. This is why a lot of old folk remedies include warm milk and honey.
A banana with milk provides vitamin B6, which helps convert the tryptophan to serotonin. Another fruit to consider is cherries as they contain melatonin, which the body produces to regulate sleep.
If you find it difficult to calm your mind at bedtime, try relaxation exercises to help you relax and fall asleep. For example, tense and relax each muscle in sequence to let go of tension and focus on your body. To help with relaxation, make sure to breathe from your diaphragm by placing you hand on your belly as you breathe in and out.