So the clocks have gone forward and we’ve sprung into spring.
Everyone goes on about what it does to our little people’s body clocks – and it does – but what about us grown-ups?
The fact is it’s not just our little darlings the clocks going forward – or back – affects. It affects us too.
According to the experts at natural health vitamin and supplement brand BetterYou, the changing of the clocks not only disturbs our routine, but after months of insufficient sun exposure and a lack of nutrient-rich foods owing to winter March and April are typically when our energy levels are at their lowest – making it the perfect time to review and reset our sleeping habits.
So BetterYou’s nutritional expert Keeley Berry has some top tips for achieving a better night’s sleep – in springtime and beyond.
How to reset your body clock for a restful night’s sleep
Are you surviving or thriving?
“If you are busy ‘surviving’ – answering emails, instant messages or you are too stressed to quieten the mind – you are bound to have trouble getting to sleep or may experience what’s known as ‘junk sleep’,” Keeley says.
Top tip: Establish a bedtime routine which begins between one hour and 40 minutes before you hope to be asleep. This time will prepare your body to ‘receive’ rest by winding down after the day and should include banning as much technology as possible. Once you have established this routine, stick to it, even if the time you begin your sleep preparation may vary according to your schedule.
Resist the temptation to clock watch
“This is a cardinal rule of healthy sleep – if you are struggling to get to sleep or you wake in the middle of the night, don’t be tempted to check the clock,” says Keeley. “Watching the time or working out how many hours you may have left to sleep is likely to make getting back to sleep more difficult.”
Top tip: Trust that your alarm clock (preferably not your mobile phone) will wake you when you need to rise and resist the temptation to rouse your nervous system by checking the time.
Nutrition for Sleep
“Nutrition is a hugely important part of resetting and rebalancing your body to achieve a better night’s sleep,” Keeley says. “Magnesium is one of nature’s most effective relaxants and can greatly affect the quality of sleep we experience yet is poorly represented in modern diets due to intensive farming and an increase in processed foods.”
Top tip: Supplement your diet with magnesium flakes, lotion or oil. Applying magnesium transdermally (through the skin) negates the need for tablets and capsules and can be easily introduced as part of a healthy bedtime routine.
Keeley’s top sleep tips following the clock-change:
- Expose yourself to plenty of natural light during the daytime and make your bedroom as dark as possible in the evenings.
- Supplement magnesium transdermally – whether you opt for a relaxing soak with magnesium flakes or use a lotion or oil, increasing your levels of this essential vitamin will set you up for restful slumber.
- Don’t overthink – try to keep stress levels low and don’t worry too much if you wake in the night; our sleep works in 90-minute cycles, so it’s natural to stir. Avoid stimulating the nervous system by reaching for your phone or checking the clock.
Have you noticed a change in your sleeping pattern since the clocks went forward? Do you have any top tips? I’d love to know what they are!
This post was written in collaboration with BetterYou.