If the transitions from summers to winters or winters to spring leave you tossing at night, you are not alone. The National Sleep Foundation shows that on an average 50 to 70 million people are affected by sleep-related problems and the changing weather is particularly disruptive to the peaceful sleep time. Wondering what is the reason behind it? It is because the bodies need a set amount of sleep to feel fresh and with ‘fall back’ or ‘spring forward’ our body fails to adjust the bedtime. This results in the compromise with the ability to maintain the needed hours of rejuvenation. To deal with the seasonal sleep disorder here are 10 tips to deal with it:
- Breath affects the sleep: The onset of spring also marks the allergy season. Therefore, it is pretty important to sleep well during the allergy season by maintaining good nasal hygiene. The best way is to use nasal drops. Pollens and other allergens impact our breathing during the night, which can wreak havoc on sleep.
- Prepare yourself for the time change: With ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back’ it is recommended to count backward from the time you need to wake up by eight hours. This should be your daily bedtime. Keep forwarding 15 minutes daily before a week of the time change. On the day of the change you will be well-rested and back on the schedule.
- Limit the stimulants: It is very important to stimulate the activities too close the bedtime to produce a surge of endorphins that hinders good sleep. Some things that you must totally avoid are paying bills, discussing financial stress and intake of caffeine. Cut down on the intake of liquid at least two hours before your bedtime as the full bladder acts a stimulant that prevents you from staying asleep throughout the night.
- Get unplugged: Experts recommend turning off of our TV, computers, phone or iPad at least thirty minutes before you hit the bed. This is because these can excite your nervous system, both psychologically from the content and biologically from the lights. Let the mind relax and not excite it by bringing distractions to it.
- Eat for sleep: Did you know that your evening snacks can promote high quality sleep. It is advisable to focus on foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium. The combination of nutrient increases the melatonin and serotonin level in the body. For the nighttime snack it is recommended to take a yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt, strawberries and bananas that is topped with almonds to stabilize the nerve and muscle fibers. In case you suffer from hot flashes, eat a bowl of whole grain cereals or fruit smoothie. These food items help in easing out the hormonal fluctuations at night and ensure a good night’s sleep.
These 5 tips will help you combat the seasonal sleep disorder and live a healthy, happy and satisfied life.