The decision to go ahead with daylight savings this year has been a controversial one.
As far back as March, experts had sent a proposal to the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, warning of the consequences of moving into daylight savings. In the midst of a pandemic that has already disrupted so many of our sleep cycles, it's true that losing an hour of rest on October 4th could be really damaging for a lot of people. Having a disrupted sleep cycle can lead to daytime sleepiness, mood swings and an inability to concentrate. And if this were to happen to all of Australia (and Victoria in particular) at the same time, it's could have tremendous socio-economic ramifications.
But it doesn’t have to. There are ways for you to prepare for daylight savings so that it doesn't throw your entire life out of balance. Here are our top five tips: 1. Plan for it Don't let daylight savings sneak up on you. Now that you know it's coming up, try to start going to bed or waking up earlier. This will help your body prepare for the 4th of October, because while you might be getting a couple of minutes less sleep every night for a week or so, the lost hour won't feel like a big deal. And once we're fully into daylight savings, you'll be able to fall back into a normal sleeping rhythm.
2. Get some sunlight
Natural light when you wake up in the morning helps your body to supress the sleep hormone melatonin, and begin to feel refreshed and energised. As we lead up to daylight savings, make it a habit of getting some natural light first thing.
3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
While these drugs do very different things from each other, they are both disruptive to sleep. Alcohol might make you feel sleepy, but it will mean you won't get as much restorative REM sleep, whereas caffeine will just make sleeping difficult overall. These are generally helpful rules to follow, but especially as we prepare for daylight savings.
4. Avoid heavy dinners
Too much food, or meals that are too rich, before bed can also lower your quality of sleep. Usually our bodily functions will wind down as we sleep, so that the restorative sleep mechanisms can kick into gear. But if our digestive system is having to deal with all this food we've just put in there, our restful, refreshing sleep will be diminished.
5. Have a good sleeping environment
Having a bedroom or other sleeping environment that is dark, cool and quiet is really important to making sure you're sleeping soundly. It's also a good idea to not have phones or laptops in the bedroom since the sights and sounds of those devices can also make sleeping much more difficult. We hope this has been helpful for you, and if you have any questions about this, or other areas of your sleep health, then please get in touch. Sleep Well - Live Well