Time change: 7 tips to cope with it better
Time change is a reality we have to deal with in Quebec. Turning the clock forward or backward by one hour may seem trivial, but we must still be aware that it can impact our fatigue level in the days following the time change. Learn about 7 tips that will help you cope with it better to avoid its effects on your daily life.
Tips to ease into the time change
It is important to know that the fall time change is generally easier for our body since it follows more closely with the cycles of our natural biological clock. Nevertheless, some people, especially young children, the elderly, and people with health problems, are more at risk of feeling the effects of the time change, whether in the spring or the fall.
Here are 7 tips for everyone to prevent fatigue associated with the time change and cope better with these times of the year.
Keep your routine
In the evening, you usually eat around 6:00 p.m. and go to bed at 11:00 p.m.? Make sure you stick to this schedule from the first day of the time change. It can be tempting to put off eating or bedtime because your body doesn’t feel “ready” yet, but it’s something to avoid. Following the same routine, as usual, will help you set your biological clock and adjust more quickly to the time change.
In addition, avoid getting up later in the days following the time change. Although it may seem counterintuitive, it is beneficial to get up early to be active and enjoy the morning sunlight. This is especially important for people who are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Get some sun
Enjoying the natural light is especially important to regulate your biological clock. Indeed, sunlight blocks the absorption of the hormone responsible for sleep (melatonin) and thus helps you stay awake. Early exposure to light can therefore have a considerable effect on your energy levels throughout the day.
Try light therapy
Light therapy consists of exposure to a powerful, artificial light source with a special lamp. This exposure should generally be done as soon as possible after waking up, and its duration depends on the power of the device used. Light therapy has been proven to help regulate our periods of wakefulness and sleep. It is also beneficial for people who are prone to SAD. It is actually part of the treatment of this condition, which affects up to 20% of the population to varying degrees.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Certain daily habits have a direct impact on the quality of sleep. Physical activity can indeed promote quality sleep and prevent insomnia.
Avoid consuming too much caffeine, and avoid sleep disruptors (alcohol, tobacco, drugs) in the hours before bedtime. As well, avoid blue light from screens at least one hour before bedtime. Finally, remember to leave your cell phone and electronics out of your bedroom.
Time changes periods can be difficult. These tips will surely help you to cope with it easily.