6 Sleep Tips to Help You Spring Forward More Smoothly
PSA: Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m.! This means that while we’ll be gaining a much-needed hour of daylight (yay!), we’ll also be losing a crucial hour of sleep (not so yay). To help ease you into the time change with nary an under-eye bag, we’ve collected a few tips from The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time ($15; available for pre-order at barnesandnoble.com), written by the brilliant Arianna Huffington.
The book, which explores the importance of and science behind catching those z’s, doesn’t come out until April 5, but you can check out a few of Huffington’s key pieces of advice below.
Invest in the right bulbs
“The National Sleep Foundation advises using low-wattage incandescent bulbs in your bedroom,” writes Huffington. “Sensing a shift in the market, some lightbulb companies … are now creating bulbs designed to be in sync with our circadian rhythms instead of disrupting them. One type of bulb is to be used in the daytime, the other at night.” Purchase a bulb like this one, or check out the LSPro Genesis Lamp from the Lighting Science Group Corporation, which will be available soon for $299.
Nix the Blue Light
“We should think of light, especially blue light, as an anti-sleeping drug or stimulant—something few of us would willingly give ourselves each night before bed,” says Huffington of the harsh light that’s emitted from our tech devices. She suggests using software like f.lux, which decreases blue-light exposure, as well as removing our smartphones from our bedrooms at least 30 minutes before sleeping.
“According to a study by researchers from the Clinique du Sommeil in Lille, France, the ideal sleeping temperature is 60 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit,” reports Huffington. “Our bodies have a temperature cycle much like our circadian sleep cycle: our body temperature drops throughout the night, bottom out a few hours before waking and going up as we approach morning.” Try setting your thermostat to 65° F for a restful night’s sleep.
There’s No Wrong Time to Exercise
“Is exercising close to bedtime a bad idea? As it turns out, exercise is so beneficial to sleep and overall health that we should attempt to fit it in whenever our lives allow,” explains Huffington. She quotes Dr. Barbara Phillips of the University of Kentucky, who says, “The timing of exercise ought to be driven by when the pool’s lap lane is open, or when your tennis partner is available or when you have time to get away from work.”
Keep Caffeine in Check with the Six-Hour Rule
“Most people know not to have coffee after dinner, but in fact caffeine’s power has a longer effect on our bodies than we think,” Huffington writes. “A 2013 study from Wayne State University and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, concluded that when taken even six hours before bed, caffeine could decrease sleep by as much as one hour.” Step away from the java.
Eat More Cherries
Huffington cites melatonin-rich cherries as an excellent way to increase your z’s: “A 2014 study from Louisiana State University found that participants who drank a glass of tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks slept an average of 85 minutes more each night than those who drank the placebo.”