Do you wake up tired? Do you find yourself yawning in the middle of the day?
A lot of people do. One in four women has some insomnia symptoms, such as trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or both. About one in seven adults has chronic (long-term) insomnia. Hormonal imbalances that are part of perimenopause cause sleep disorders to jump to 39 to 47 percent of women. They rise even higher, from 35 to 60 percent, when women reach menopause and hormone levels are low.
March 13th is World Sleep Day.
Ironically, it falls on the day before daylight savings time when we turn our clocks ahead an hour, losing one hour of sleep. That basically messes up our Circadian rhythm. It turns our internal clock forward, resulting in hormone changes in the body that can cause us to feel out of sorts for about a week, or until we adjust.
And that affects sleeping, eating, energy level, certain health conditions, concentration and even our ability to drive safely.
It’s definitely not just hypothetical. Studies show that there are more fatal car accidents, and certain health problems such as heart attacks, right around daylight savings time.
So what can we do to help our body acclimate to this time change?
Starting tonight, go to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier. Try a relaxing bedtime routine that allows you to wind down without computers, television and any screens. And don’t exercise right before bed.
Then when you wake up, expose yourself to bright light. Go outside for a few minutes. Go for a short walk if you can and enjoy the early morning sun. Resist alcohol and caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda, especially after lunchtime, and avoid napping for more than 2o minutes during the day.
The nice thing about “Springing” forward is that you’ll get to enjoy longer days filled with bright light. And small changes this week can help with a smoother transition.
Today’s Music Monday song is Ready For A Dream to help you relax at bedtime. It is from a CD that I wrote and performed by Ben Schwendener for HealthRock’s award winning CD, Sleep Tight, Music to Sleep By. To listen to this and other HealthRock songs, visit HealthRock.Bandcamp.com/music. Click Here for a free sleep diary to track your sleep. Please share with your friends.Your feedback is always welcome.
Yours in good health,
Harrison Y . The impact of daylight saving time on sleep and related behaviors. Sleep Med Rev. 17(4):285-92.