Time change: Our tips for a good night's sleep!

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Time change: Our tips for a good night's sleep!

by Eric Delloye — Posted in Luminette

Every year, we experience the phenomenon of daylight saving time. This seemingly innocuous change for some is not necessarily so for children, the elderly, the ill, and those with sleep disorders.

The change in time can have significant health implications. The biological clock, based on circadian rhythms, becomes completely disrupted. This internal clock regulates the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone, at specific times and also plays a role in immune regulation. The transition to daylight saving time or back to standard time can lead to a decrease in immune defenses (fatigue, increased susceptibility to infections, and slow healing of injuries), disruption of appetite (hunger outside meal times, decreased or loss of appetite), and sleep disturbances (night awakenings, difficulty falling asleep, insomnia, etc.).

The body is supposed to adapt to this time change within a few days. However, that's not the case for everyone. These disruptions can manifest in various forms: insomnia, delays and advances in sleep phases, night awakenings, restless nights, and more. Lack of sleep, in turn, has numerous negative impacts on both the body and the mind, including weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, mood disorders, and mental health issues (depression or anxiety).

For individuals facing these challenges, the most frequently recommended treatment by sleep specialists is light therapy. It helps regulate circadian rhythms and adapt them to the current environment. This method is beneficial for overall health, medically certified, eye-safe*, and represents an alternative to medication-based treatments.

10 Tips for Coping with the Time Change:

  1. Prepare for the time change in the days leading up to it by gradually setting your wake-up time earlier by 10-15 minutes each day. Also, make sure to go to bed a little earlier each night.

  1. Upon waking up, expose yourself to light. If the weather doesn't allow it, use Luminette every morning. A session of 20 to 45 minutes is sufficient. Moreover, you can continue with your activities: have breakfast, get ready, read, work on the computer, engage in gentle exercise, etc.

  1. Get up as soon as you wake up. Sleeping in won't help you recover the needed hours of sleep. On the contrary, you'll be even more tired, and your circadian rhythms will be further disrupted!

  1. Limit screen time before bedtime. Opt for reading or any other calm activity.

  1. Take a bath before going to bed. Add Epsom salt and essential oils and soak in warm water. Guaranteed relaxation!

  1. Establish a stable routine. Your body will find its cues in a regular daily rhythm (wake-up time, bedtime, meal times, physical activities, and relaxation moments).

  1. Adjust your diet. Avoid heavy and fatty meals and eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Opt for vegetable soup, whole-grain bread, and homemade applesauce. Digestion will be easier, and falling asleep will become less challenging.

  1. Engage in physical activity to adapt your body to the new schedule. However, avoid intense workouts in the evening. At that time of the day, prioritize activities like pilates, yoga, and gentle exercises.

  1. Don't overdo it! If you struggle during time changes, listen to your body during the first week. Spend time with your family, listen to music, watch a series... The keyword: RELAXATION!

  1. Limit the use of medications like sleeping pills to fall asleep. Consult a specialist if your sleep disorders are significant. Melatonin supplements can complement light therapy.

*Consult a specialist if you have retinal lesions, eye diseases, or have had cataract surgery.