As if the past year hasn't done enough to throw our sleep patterns out of whack, this Sunday is when we throw the annual monkey wrench into the schedule: Daylight Saving Time.
Every March we "spring ahead" which is a nice way of saying we lose an hour of sleep. Not only that, but changing the light and dark patterns can throw off our circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that regulates our sleep which is based on light.
Research has shown that the average person receives about 40 minutes less sleep the Monday after the switch. Nothing is better than starting the week even more tired than normal, right?
Some of us adjust after a day or two, but there are people out there who suffer from a permanent circadian disruption, which can cause a whole host of health issues.
There are steps you can take to help mitigate these issues. In the days leading up to the time change, avoid caffeine, go to bed a bit earlier each day and spend some time outdoors. Granted that last one can be more difficult here in Oregon than in other places.
Experts also suggest napping in moderation. It can seem counterintuitive, but trying to grab some extra sleep can have the opposite effect, making you even more tired. If you do need to take a nap, keep it under 20 minutes and you'll feel more rested than if you dozed for longer.
Hopefully some day we'll no longer have these time changes. Meanwhile, follow those tips to minimize the effects, and visit the store to find some comfortable mattresses and bedding to help make the sleep you do get better.