Moving the clock back one hour this Fall can affect your schedule and throw off your body’s internal clock and sleep cycles. To get back on track, Sleep Expert Alanna McGinn shares her expert tips!
As of yesterday, daylight saving time ended and with it brings interrupted sleep schedules and a period of adjustment. It’s rarely fun – but, eventually, our body clocks will adjust on their own. In the meantime, here are a few ways you can help get your entire family back on track.
1.Create a calming bedtime routine
It’s so important to bring back bedtime and our bedtime routine, especially now as routine for many families have been all over the place after quarantining for so long. Start off with dressing the part. We live in a time where we’re always in our cozies but we don’t want to head to bed in the same clothes we wore all day. It’s important to change before going to bed so that you are cuing your body that it’s time to sleep. You can still look stylish and be comfortable while getting ready for bed.
Once you are dressed for sleep you can focus on some wind down activities give yourself at least 30 minutes before bedtime to start your routine. Practice your nightly hygiene like washing your face and brushing your teeth. Use the remaining time for a calming wind down activity like some bedtime yoga, mindful breathing, or journal writing.
You can create your own sleep tool kit and customize it to suite your sleep needs. Things to include could be earplugs, sleep masks, and a diffuser to help promote a better quality of sleep with keeping things quiet, dark, and relaxing.
- Headband – Pippa And Peach
- Face wash
- Yoga and meditation book
- Ear plugs
- Eye masks – Indigo Love and Lore
- Diffuser – Indigo Vitruvi
2. Clear your night stand
Not all tech is created equal!
If you are struggling with sleep and having difficulties sleeping then it’s probably a good idea to give your night table an audit and remove the major sleep busters in your bedroom like your phone, TV, and tablet. We want to keep the sleep switch in your brain on and exposing yourself to bright light right before you go to bed can turn it off and suppress our natural hormone melatonin.
You can also set boundaries on the tech you allow in at bedtime and be mindful of what you are absorbing.
3. What should we avoid?
- Social media that give you FOMO, or has content that can heighten your stress and anxiety.
- News that heightens your stress and anxiety.
- If you are more sensitive to violence and horror then don’t stream this genre right before you go to bed.
- Set boundaries on work projects and emails right before you go to bed.
4. Approved tech
Any shows or movies that you know for you personally won’t keep your mind racing at bedtime.
Not all social media is bad provided it leaves you feeling positive and calm. Whether it’s an Instagram Live you want to watch or dive into Tik Tok trust your emotions to only immerse yourself into videos that make you feel good and won’t amplify any stress or anxiety.
There are some great platforms to seek out if you are struggling with sleep, mediation and mindful breathing apps, calming and relaxing bedtime audio stories, white noise apps, and bedtime lullabies. These are encouraged for all ages for those who truly need it.
- Calm – This is an award-winning app has calming exercises, breathing techniques and even has a Calm Kids section with meditations for kids to teens. You can also listen to The Sleep Stories section features a great mix of voice talent — like Matthew McConaughey and Harry Styles.
- Headspace – one of the first meditation apps on the market. With tons of guided meditations it was created originally for adults but now has mindfulness activities for kids to teens as well.
White Noise Apps:
- myNoise – offers both natural white noise and calibrated noises that adapt the sound to a person’s hearing level, which helps mask out sounds even better. Sone of the sounds included are rain on a tent, natural waterfall, fireplace, and fan noise. It has a free version that includes a sleep timer.
- Insight Timer – The most mentioned app in my own Facebook poll. Rated #1 free app for sleep, anxiety and stress. For adults, teens, and children. There are guided meditations and talks led by the world’s top meditation experts, neuroscientists, and teachers at Stanford, Harvard, and the University Oxford.
5. Set yourself up for sleep success.
As the seasons change, it’s time to audit your bedroom to make sure it’s conducive to helping you get the best sleep possible. Winterizing your bedroom for sleep by:
Winterizing Your Bed
- Heated mattress pads or blankets can be a great addition.
- Weighted Blanket – It can keep you warm and the firm pressure stimulation can affect your nervous system and release serotonin helping you feel calm, relaxed, and reduce anxiety.
- Incorporate more of a cozy winter design with velvet and fake furs with blankets and decorative pillows.
- Weighted blanket
- Velvet throws and pillows
Join the conversation