In most countries of the northern hemisphere, the clocks are changed from winter- to summertime in spring. Meaning, the clocks are set from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. We are losing one hour of our well-deserved sleep. Some of the often occurring side effects are
- sleep disturbances
- head ache
- reduced performance
- concentration disturbances and
The body needs time to adjust to the changes. How much time, differs individually: some people only need a couple of days, some need some weeks. The time shift is especially hard for elderlies, infants and toddlers as well as people with sleep disturbances.
Adapt your inner clock to the new daily routine
Processes in our organism are subjected to biological rhythms that are set by the inner clock. Our inner clock is directed by the release of certain hormones. One biological rhythm is the sleep-wake-rhythm which is influenced by the sleeping hormone melatonin. Melatonin is increasingly produced in darkness and is responsible for getting tired.
The time shift leads to fluctuations in the bio rhythm and affects our sleep-wake-rhythm. The change to summertime equals a mini-jetlag. Only when our inner clock becomes used to the new daily routine, the uncomfortable side effects are reduced.
Rested in spite of time shift
With the following simple tricks you get accustomed much faster to summertime. You can start a couple of days before the actual change takes place:
- Modify your waking time a couple of days before the time shift. Get up and go to bed half an hour earlier than you are used to.
- On Saturday, forward your meal times half an hour.
- Regularly spend time outside. Do long walks in fresh air. This helps you to reset your sleep-wake-rhythm.
- A balanced diet supplies you with the vitamins and trace elements needed.
- In case you are suffering under sleep disturbances, avoid chemical sleeping pills. They interfere with the course of the sleeping phases. Better try herbal teas with valerian, hops and balm.
- Relaxation techniques like yoga, autogenous training or progressive muscle relaxation successfully support falling asleep.
- A proper sleeping underlay (natural sleeping system, orthopedic pillow, sheep-wool-duvet) as well as a comfortable sleep surrounding support healthy sleep and adaption to summertime.
A healthy lifestyle with exercise in fresh air, a balanced diet and regular sleep-wake-rhythm considerably eases the change to summertime.