Well, it happened…the time change that leaves us in days of darkness. In the spring, you wake up the morning after the time has changed feeling groggy and cheated one hour of sleep. In the fall, while you should be glorifying the extra hour of sleep, the change can mess up your sleep habits and make you restless during the week. If you already struggle with sleeping and you constantly feel tired, how can you cope with the daylight savings in the fall (November 3, 2019)?
Light, which seems rare with the cold weather and darkening time change, is a powerful force to help you feel more awake. Light is especially necessary after the time change because without it, you are at a higher risk for the seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D). S.A.D affects melatonin levels which changes your sleep habits. Melatonin makes you sleepy, but light suppresses the substance and helps you wake up. Waking up, moving, and going through your morning routine in the light can help ward off S.A.D and make you feel more alert. Though, when it is close to your bedtime, dim the lights and allow the melatonin to do its job.
Keep it Cool
While the drop in temperatures may make you want to stay close to the fireplace or crank the heater, you should try to keep your home cooler to regulate your sleeping patterns. Being too warm may cause you to wake up, but being too chilly at night will make it harder to sleep. Try maintaining a moderate, even temperature in your home to keep your body relaxed.
Creating a routine will also help with your sleep patterns, even when it’s dark. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day will help your brain signal to your body when it’s time to relax and when you need to be more energized and efficient. Having a ritual before you go to bed can also benefit your sleep routine. Many people have a cup of tea, turn off the television, read a book, or do some meditation to wind down before hitting the hay.
As tempting as it may be to snuggle into bed on a quiet day to enjoy a couple of hours of rest, try to refrain yourself. Napping can become a bad habit that keeps you from getting a full night of sleep. To fight the urge to nap, turn on some lights, go outside, or participate in an activity that gets you moving or out of the house.
See a Doctor
If you still feel tired after following all these steps, talk to your doctor about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT, a personalized pellet medication, balances your hormones and will improve your energy, sleep, libido, and clear away brain fog. Sleep can help you perform better on daily tasks and feel more energized. Whether it’s daylight savings throwing you off or something else, be sure to get plenty of light and monitor your routine, and, if you need to, talk to your doctor.