This past weekend, many of us enjoyed an extra hour of sleep thanks to the Daylight Savings time change that occurred. As nice as that hour of sleep may have been, many of you may admit to having a bit of trouble sleeping at night, not just because of the time change itself, but because of how your internal body clock is programmed.
When you use a CPAP mask at night, routine is so important for ensuring that the therapy works properly and you get a good night’s sleep. The “fall back” time change can affect your circadian rhythm, the part of your brain that reacts to light patterns in the day and night. And as great as it may have felt to sleep in for that extra hour, many of you may admit to your sleeping patterns being a bit haywire right now. Common symptoms of this include: increased headaches, lack of focus throughout the day, feelings of loneliness or depression, and possible spurts of insomnia throughout the night (and this includes waking up earlier than normal)
But fear not: as much of an adjustment this may be, there are ways you can work yourself back into your normal sleep routine and start sleeping normally at night again. Here are a few tips to adjusting to the time change:
- Regardless of whether you actually feel tired or not, go to bed at your usual time. It may take you a bit longer than normal to fall asleep, but this helps to reprogram your body’s internal clock. Likewise, try and wake up at your usual time each morning.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark to help with the bedtime relaxation process
- Give yourself some time before bed to wind down from your hectic day: turn off the TV and put your electronics away, take some time to read a book, have a cup of herbal tea, practice some deep breathing or do any relaxing activity that helps you sleep better at night
- Avoid having alcohol, or any caffeinated drinks for a few hours before bedtime
- Try and get some sunlight exposure when you wake up in the morning (at least for a few days). This helps your internal body clock adjust to the new time.