Spring is a time of restless energy and regrowth. The sun is up longer, temperatures are higher, and everything is starting to grow once again. Like Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party’.
But as the party starts with all the sudden, constant change, Spring can be the most difficult time for sleep. In fact, the average person gets the least amount of sleep during a change in seasons. Here are 5 things you can do to stay well-rested into the Spring season.
1. Get some sunlight
One of benefits of Spring is longer days and more sunlight, which can greatly help you maintain a strong sleep cycle. Vitamin D isn’t just crucial for bone and muscle health, but directly involved in the production of serotonin.
During colder seasons with less sunlight, you may have noticed an increase in your appetite, or feeling tired much earlier in the day. Fatigue and overeating are common during the winter, which can easily disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.
In the Spring, you can avoid this problem by getting out in the sun. If you don’t get outside regularly, try working near a window. An increase in vitamin D will reduce the chances of daytime drowsiness, allowing you to stay awake and alert until bedtime.
2. Keep Out the Light
The key ingredient for sleep is a hormone known as melatonin. The more melatonin your body produces, the sleepier you feel. According to the National Sleep Foundation, exposure to light or darkness is a key factor in sleep regulation. Scientists have found that darkness triggers the production of melatonin, while exposure to light stimulates the nerves, sending a natural signal for the human body to remain wide awake. When falling asleep, keep your bedroom dark with blinds or thick curtains. Try to prevent any sunlight peeking through your windows, so you can sleep easy and without interruption.
3. Keep Cool Inside
As temperatures start to rise, you might feel the pressure to save on energy costs. The truth is, while you’re cutting down your electricity bill, you could be losing a lot of sleep. Temperature plays a crucial role in your sleep cycle.
As you prepare to fall asleep, your body temperature falls slightly to a cooler temperature in order to achieve a deeper sleep. The ideal room temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 70 degrees. If you still prefer saving a little on the electricity bill, there are other ways to achieve the “temperature drop” effect by taking a bath or hot shower an hour before sleep, or wearing thinner, less layers when you go to bed.
4. Beware of Allergies
Spring is allergy season, and there’s no avoiding it. In fact, most people will fall victim to the puffy eyes, runny nose, and constant sneezing that comes with a growing pollen count. It’s always best to stock up on allergy supplies before the allergy season hits.
Nasal sprays, antihistamines and over-the-counter treatments are cost-efficient and very effective. You can also talk to your doctor about any prescription strength medications that might help as well.
5. Clean Clean Clean!
They don’t call it Spring Cleaning for nothing. A clean house is an allergen-free hours. Start with your bed itself. Maintaining clean bed sheets greatly reduces and limits the amount allergens you might be sleeping on.
For the house, it’s important to let the sun and fresh air inside for a while. Just make sure you shut the windows at night. This will keep out allergens that can cause irritation before and during sleep.
Lastly, wash up before bedtime: A quick, hot shower ensures that your body is completely free of any allergens, so you can sleep easy without worrying about any allergies you might have brought home.
6. Daylight Savings Time
The clocks officially jump forward an hour on Sunday, March 13th. Try getting used to the time change by going to bed an hour early a week beforehand.