Be in Control Ahead of the Clock Change
Whilst many aspects of our lives are currently going through huge changes, the sleep experts at Tempur share tips to ensure sleep doesn’t suffer when the clocks go forward on the 29 March.
Heralding the start of spring, with its lighter mornings, longer days and milder weather, the clocks going forward this month will hopefully bring some positivity during these strange and uncertain times of social distancing and isolation.
The transition to British Summer Time (BST) does mean that we lose an hour of sleep, but whilst we adjust to all sorts of other changes in our everyday, the impact of the clock change is something we should be able to control.
Tempur UK Managing Director, Tobin James, shares tips to ensure that the clock change doesn’t leave the quality or quantity of your sleep lacking.
“The lighter, brighter and hopefully warmer days come as a relief to many of us, however the impact of losing an hour of sleep should not be downplayed.
“Insufficient sleep, both in quantity and quality, can severely impact our performance, outlook, mood and physical and mental wellbeing during waking hours, but sleep is something we can try to keep control of.
“By taking some simple steps ahead of the clock-change, we can prepare our bodies and help to manage the impact of a lost hour of sleep.”
Here the sleep experts at Tempur provide a guide to safe-guarding your sleep ahead of the 29-March clock change.
Start staggering your bedtime
From Wednesday 25-March try to go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. This ensures that once BST begins on the 29-March, you’ll be ready for bed a full hour earlier than usual and will make up for the lost hour.
This may mean adapting your night-time routine for a few days, but you’ll thank yourself when the clock change leaves you feeling nothing short of bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Whether indoors or outdoors (the back garden, local park or deserted local streets), consider incorporating some light physical exercise into your daily routine. The longer days and milder temperatures provide the perfect excuse to get outdoors and be active, even for those under lockdown.
Aside from the obvious health benefits that come with this, the extra energy expenditure will make it easier for you to drift off come bedtime.
Early morning afternoon exercise helps to reset the sleep-wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later.
Try to exercise outdoors where possible as this will allow your body to absorb natural sunlight which will help to calibrate the body’s natural internal “circadian” clock.
A gentle walk or yoga is perfect before bedtime however if you prefer a more vigorous activity like running or cycling, try to do this at least two hours before bed to give your body time to relax and reset.
Eat to sleep
A light snack before bed can deliver just the right boost to help ensure a good night’s sleep.
- Try a handful of nuts – walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are all great options – which are excellent sources of sleep-inducing magnesium and tryptophan, also helping to boost serotonin levels in the brain.
- Bananas are high in potassium, which is essential to achieving a good night’s sleep and are also good sources of tryptophan and magnesium.
- A warm glass of milk really can help you to sleep better. Dairy is a natural source of tryptophan but super-charge its sleep-inducing qualities by adding a squeeze of honey. The small amount of glucose from the honey will lower levels of orexin, a neurotransmitter that raises levels of alertness.
- Oats are naturally rich in melatonin, which is a natural hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Higher levels of this hormone will help you relax and feel sleepy. They are also a good source of tryptophan, especially if combined with milk.
Adapt your sleep environment
Ideally your bedroom should mimic a cave environment – cool and dark.
For the best possible night’s sleep, your bedroom should be slightly cooler than the rest of your home. Around 18°C is ideal. Make sure you are sleeping in cotton sheets and pyjamas that allow the body to breath for a comfortable slumber.
With the clock change comes lighter, brighter days as we move into summer – great for helping you jump out of bed first thing but not so great when you’re trying to fall asleep at night-time.
Light is one of the main physical stimulators alerting your body and mind that it’s morning and time to wake up. Longer daylight hours therefore mean we’re more likely to feel tired later in the evenings and wake up earlier in the mornings, leading to a longer-term loss of all-important sleep time. Invest in black-out blinds in bedrooms which will block out any early morning light.
Enjoy a lie-in
No matter how prepared you are, a bad night’s sleep can happen completely out of the blue. Whilst having a long lie-in at the weekend is generally discouraged as it disrupts a normal routine, if you wake up on the 29-March having endured a less-than-perfect night’s sleep – don’t force yourself to get out of bed. An extra hour in bed every now and then won’t make a huge different to your overall sleep routine.
For more information on Tempur, visit www.tempur.co.uk
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TEMPUR researches, develops, engineers, manufactures and distributes mattresses, pillows and other sleep products to improve the sleep experience worldwide.
TEMPUR mattresses and pillows are made from a formulation of the brand’s proprietary pressure absorbing TEMPUR material, originally developed by NASA in the 1970s to support and cushion astronauts during lift-off.
TEMPUR mattresses offer maximum quality, comfort, support, durability, value for money and aid a restorative night’s sleep.
TEMPUR products can be purchased direct via the TEMPUR UK website, from any of eleven TEMPUR brand stores and outlets, or from leading retailers including Dreams, John Lewis, Bensons for Beds, Furniture Village and leading independent retailers.
Trusted and promoted by medical practitioners around the world, TEMPUR is the only mattress product recognised by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation.
TEMPUR is a subsidiary of TEMPUR Sealy International Inc.
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