It’s that time of year again, where the government robs you of an hour or gifts you one while you sleep. Spring forward is much harder on the body than fall back, but both do some damage. There are multiple studies that show car accidents, heart attacks, and strokes go up this time of year. Keep your circadian rhythms running smoothly with these small helps.
Go to Bed Early
Starting today, go to bed fifteen to thirty minutes earlier. This helps your body acclimatize to the bigger shift on Sunday. You will be surprised how much this tiny step helps.
Wake Up Early
Set your alarm for fifteen minutes early starting tomorrow morning. Up it to twenty or thirty on Saturday. And do thirty to forty on Sunday. That will prep the way for the early start Monday with less stress to you, your heart, and your head.
Get some short cardio in, especially in the mornings and afternoons, to jumpstart your system. Exercise also helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which increase with this shift. Don’t workout too late as this can make you too energetic, focused, and alert to sleep.
Get Some Sun
Many of us spend too much time indoors, staring at screens. The lack of natural light and introduction of artificial light mess with circadian rhythms big time. Open the blinds, let the light in, go outside for a few minutes when you have a break to enjoy real sunlight. Sunlight helps the body regulate serotonin and melatonin levels, so you feel more awake during the day and sleep better at night. The vitamin D is important too.
Watch What You Drink
Caffeine and alcohol have their place, but both can disrupt cycles. Make sure you get your caffeine earlier into the middle of your day. Alcohol can also make it hard for some people to sleep. Matcha is a good option in the morning and afternoon as it provides mental focus and doesn’t leave you jittery. Roasted Matcha is okay a little later in the day as it has less caffeine.
Put the Phone Down
We mentioned that screens can disrupt your circadian rhythms. This is especially true if you watch TV, play with a tablet, or scroll through your phone after the sun goes down. The artificial light fools the body that it isn’t night, so you don’t produce the melatonin you need for sleep. All that social media and news isn’t great for anxiety and stress either. Set a time an hour or two before you hit the hay for screens to go to bed too.