How to sleep like a bear during Daylight Saving
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, guys, but it’s about to be Daylight Saving Time, and tonight we lose an entire hour of our weekend. Tomorrow you will wake up at 11 AM and it will actually be noon. Then, before you know it, Girls will be over and you will be heading back to bed. It blows, I know, and it can really mess with your sleep cycle but I’m here to help, because if there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s sleeping. I have fallen asleep at a concert, mid sun salutation and, once, during a dinner date. After a sinus surgery I had a few months ago, I was unable to get a good night’s rest to save my life, so I jumped to action tout de suite, asking everyone for tips, reading articles, even going to the library for ideas. I am chock full of suggestions:
You know how infants always seem to be swaddled in blankets and presented like a burrito? There’s something to that. The heaviness of the fabric is seriously calming, like a good long hug. Weighted blankets have been recommended for children with anxiety disorders, to make them feel safe and protected at night. If you’re finding it hard to doze off, wrap yourself up and get a good snuggle going.
Before it became the low-impact sport of the masses, yoga was intended to get all of the aches and kinks out of your body so that your mind would be clear of distractions for meditation. Some hip openers, back bends, and a few sun salutations (I swear by every Rodney Yee video ever made) can still work wonders in terms of clearing away the stress of the day and preparing you for an awesome slumber.
Again, children are our role models. You know how they run around like maniacs all day and then crash out at 8 PM? They know what’s up. The more active you are during the day, the more your body craves rest. Just make sure you stop exercising a few hours before you go to bed, so the adrenaline doesn’t amp you up.
Obviously, you’re going to have trouble sleeping if you can’t get comfortable, which is why it’s good to have a variety of pillows around. A pillow under your knees helps with stomach pain, and one between your legs can alleviate back and hip strain. Elevating your head with multiple pillows helps drain sinuses and prevents acid reflux. If you sleep on your back or stomach, flat pillows are advisable. If you sleep on your side, a thicker pillow is better for neck support.
When I have the time, I’ll take a hot bath before going to bed to warm and relax my muscles, but there are plenty of evenings when time is scarce (and plenty of apartment tubs in which you would not want to bathe). That’s where a heating pad comes in handy. Put it wherever you’re feeling achy: shoulders, neck, lower back. It does wonders. And if you’re worried about falling asleep with an electrical device plugged in, most drug stores sell microwavable versions.
Light is obviously not particularly conducive to sleep. Even subtle shifts of sunlight through curtains can affect your circadian cycle and prevent you from going into REM sleep, so if your sleep troubles seem to be morning-related, consider investing in some heavy curtains. It’ll keep your room warmer and help you sleep through daylight hours.
Humidifier and/or air purifier
These two little machines are my best friends. I trust Honeywell, because they work great, but you don’t have to sacrifice adorability to invest in these machines. They keep the air cool and clean and the light whirring sound works perfectly as relaxing white noise.
Back to the basics
Here’s a little refresher course on basic sleep guidelines: Have your last meal two to three hours before bed so you’re not kept awake by your body’s digesting. Stick to a regular sleep schedule as often as you can. Keep naps short and never nap in the evening. Avoid caffeine past the afternoon. Turn off your screens at least half an hour before bedtime. Read a book in bed or listen to music if you can’t turn your mind off.
I can’t give you back the hour that will be stolen from you this evening, but with any luck this advice will prevent you from feeling discombobulated all week long. Now it’s going to be Monday before we know it, so enjoy the rest of your weekend while you can.
[Image via Shutterstock]