Tag Archives: good sleep

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Spring Forward: How to Make a Smooth Transition

On March 8th most of the country will ‘Spring Forward’ and start daylight savings time.  For most people, it’s a day that can’t come soon enough. We are already seeing the sun setting later and later, but now additionally we have moved an hour of daylight from morning to night.

The process seems simple enough, but for some, it doesn’t come without difficulties. When we move the clock either forward or backward it resets our circadian rhythm – the natural cycle in which our bodies operate.  A large percentage of the population find that their internal clocks don’t cooperate with the time change.  The spring change is typically far more difficult than in fall, so adjustments need to be made for the shift. Waking up the Monday morning after having lost an hour of sacred sleep can have a big effect on many and for several days thereafter.  How it will impact you personally depends on your lifestyle, health, and sleep habits. So, how can you reset your internal clock more quickly to adapt to the time change?

Sound Sleep

Hit the sack sooner. It seems like common sense right? If you go to bed earlier the night before, you lose no sleep and won’t feel the effects right? Not necessarily. It has been shown that we need more than just a day to sync back into a rhythm and experts recommend that you start going to bed early for several nights before the time change so as to slowly ease into a new cycle.banner newOopsADaisy2

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Sleep in comfort: Nothing can hurt your sleep pattern more than wearing binding or uncomfortable attire to bed. Make sure that your pajamas fit well and have a fabric that makes you feel comfortable and able to move. Another great way to prepare for bed is to put your PJ’s on early so your body starts to recognize that bedtime is fast approaching. There’s just something about being in your pajamas that soothes your mind and puts you in a relaxed state of mind!

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Reduce screen time. Although your normal routine may involve watching a little television before bed or playing games on your phone or tablet, the light from these devices actually stimulates your brain and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Instead, during the time you are preparing for the time change, try reading a book or taking a warm bath as your method of unwinding. No matter what time of year it is, if you have trouble getting a good night’s rest, avoid hand-held screens and computer displays at least two hours before bed, and turn off the TV at least an hour before bedtime.

Get some exercise. Physical activity has so many benefits as we all know. One of the biggest advantages however, is how it improves sleep patterns. Exercise is shown to improve deep sleep which is the most important part of the sleep cycle. This is where your mind and body reset themselves and what makes for that well-rested feeling. A seven-hour night of ‘good sleep’ is much better for you than a nine-hour night of ‘just ok’ sleep.

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Watch what and when you eat. Busy days and different schedules can affect the time you have to eat your dinner. You may find that you eat on the go, make unhealthy decisions, or have your meal later than you prefer. We recommend that if possible, eat earlier in the evening. This gives you body time to digest and also reduces the chances of indigestion that can keep you up. Stay away from spicy and fatty foods, and instead choose healthy proteins and whole grains. Also try to avoid caffeinated drinks after about 2pm to give your body time to purge the stimulant.

Remain consistent. Above all, make sure to commit to these temporary changes. If you follow these tips for 7-10 days before daylight savings time, the transition will more than likely be an easy one. Then you can go on to enjoy all the great things that come from more daylight without having that tired, worn-out feeling.

If you have other great tips that will help move forward into spring please share! You can post your comments here or over on our Facebook page.



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How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like getting a bad night’s sleep to throw off my day. When I’m sleep deprived, it affects my concentration and productivity, my overall mood and mindset, and makes it hard to get through the day.

We know that quality sleep is necessary for overall health and peace of mind.  Sleeping gives our bodies and brains time to relax and rejuvenate.  Just like eating, sleep is necessary for our survival.

Stress can be a big factor in sleeping well – whether it hampers your ability to get to sleep or it wakes you up in the middle of the night.  Lots of other factors can come between you and restful sleep – whether it’s eating patterns, your ability to get comfortable, or what you do leading up to bedtime.

Here are some tips to help you slip effortlessly into dream land…

Keep to a schedule.

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each night – even on weekends.  According to the Mayo Clinic, keeping to a consistent schedule sets up your sleep-wake cycle, and will help you to get better quality sleep.

Give yourself time to wind down. 

In the hour or so before your bed time, its best to avoid stressful or over stimulating activities, and give yourself time to transition into sleep mode. If you have a demanding job, steer clear of checking email just before bed. In fact, it’s best to leave the phone and computer in another room while you sleep. If you typically watch TV shows at night, choose shows that aren’t violent or over stimulating. Reading a light book or magazine can be a great way to ease you into relaxation.

Watch what you eat in the hours before bed time. 

Anything you eat about 2 to 3 hours before bed time has the potential to affect your sleep.  Limit the alcohol and caffeine, and instead try a relaxing herbal tea chamomile or lavender tea.  Sleepytime tea is a great option too!

Take a warm bath or shower.

One of my favorite night time rituals is to take a hot bath before bed. I’ve always found it very soothing and relaxing.  Apparently there is some science behind it as well, as mentioned in this article on health.com. It goes something like this: when you fall asleep your body temperature naturally falls. Taking a hot bath raises your temperature a few degrees higher than normal, and then creates a steeper plummet, sending you off into a nice deep slumber.

Wear comfortable pajamas. (Of course!)

Whatever you choose to wear to bed, it should be loose and comfortable. Get rid of any pjs that don’t fit you properly or have irritating features like scratchy fabric or annoying elastic. Pick pajamas that work for you and make you feel good! Some people are more comfortable in shorts than pants, and others prefer a nightshirt to a two-piece pair of jammies. You might even love a one-piece pair of footed pajamas!

Make sure your bedroom supports good sleeping.

Be sure your bed, pillows, and blankets are truly comfortable. Pillows wear out over time and if they are not supporting your neck properly, it can make it tough to get good sleep. You also want to make make sure your room is quiet and dark.  A noise machine or fan can help drown out sounds that may wake you during the night. If your bedroom is not dark enough, try black-out curtains or wearing an eye mask to keep the light out.

We want to hear from you – what are your tips for getting a good night’s rest?  Share with us below in the comments!

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