Sleep Health

Your Easter and daylight savings sleep playbook

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Easter is a fun and exciting holiday for adults and children alike. But with all the Easter activities, family gatherings and massive amounts of chocolate, your sleep routine can disappear as quickly as this morning’s hot cross buns from the oven.

Throw into the mix the daylight savings change this Easter Sunday, and even the best sleepers will struggle to sleep well. Like jetlag, changing the time on our clocks can wreak havoc on our internal body clocks. For many of us, it will lead to unwelcome early mornings and bedtime struggles. Here are some things you can do to ensure you wake up on Tuesday feeling like you’ve had a restful break, not an exhausting one.

Plan for late evenings

It’s the holidays, so there'll sure be late nights out and forgotten bedtimes, but that’s okay. You can still enjoy your evenings without paying for them by making sleep a priority on the days you’ll be up late. You could, for example, have a nap before going out or even just by sleeping amazingly well the night before.

Planning how long you’ll stay out is also especially important for parents who have young kids. If you haven’t learnt by now, tired babies and toddlers are restless and can be over-stimulated. If you want a stress-free night, you’re going to need your kids to be well-rested.

Limit your chocolate intake

Most of us know eating too much sugar too can induce highs and lows. But did you know it can affect your circadian rhythm too? When our blood sugar levels rise, our brains delay sleep until our blood sugars stabilize by regulating melatonin. And if somehow you do fall asleep, your sleep will be less restful due to the elevated sugar levels.

While we want people to enjoy their fair share of Easter chocolate, do try to limit your feasting to a few choice pieces. You can leave any surplus for the days and weeks after.

Prepare for daylight savings

If you know you’re sensitive to time shifts, try adjust to it earlier by shifting your usual routine by 30 minutes today and then 30 minutes tomorrow. For example, if you typically eat dinner at 6 PM, move it to 6:30 PM tonight and 7 PM tomorrow. The idea is that once the clocks fall back, your body will be already adjusted.

Don’t be fooled into believing that we have an extra hour to stay up late and sleep in. You’ll need this time to adjust to your usual bedtime while negotiating the diminishing evening sunlight and earlier sunrise.

Leave your clocks unchanged

If you're too late to start adjusting for daylight savings, you can wait until Sunday morning. One good way to cope (if you have nowhere to be on Sunday morning) is to leave as many of your clocks unchanged, so it doesn't feel as weird to be getting up earlier.

After waking up at your usual time, spend an hour relaxing with some breakfast and a nice warm cup of tea. Once you're done, you can allow yourself to look at the devices that have automatically changed time and realise it's the same time you woke up! How good would that feel?

Conclusion

While Easter can be a super fun time, it can be seriously draining too if you don't look after your sleep. With daylight savings ending this weekend, going in with a game plan can help you sleep better over the break and the days following. All you need to do is have a bit of discipline. You've got this!

ResMed

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