Recovering from the Daylight Savings hangover

So about now you are probably in full swing of the effects of that simple motion of winding the clocks forward… The hangover-like mornings, lying wide awake and the lethargy through the day. So what the hell happened?!

On a physical level we go through a major disruption to our circadian rhythms. Our circadian rhythms influence our sleep cycles, digestion and hormone releases. So throw it out by an hour, it’s natural we should expect a crazy effect on not only our physical body, but our mental state too.

So what controls our circadian rhythm in our body? The pineal gland is one of the key organs in the endocrine system that controls melatonin and is directly influenced by light, which then controls our circadian rhythms… Lost you? The endocrine system are all the glands in your body that release and control hormones, the pineal gland is located in the centre of our head and is also known as the third eye, melatonin regulates our sleeping patterns, melatonin is inhibited by light so hence is released at night when we sleep.

So change our wake up time to an hour earlier, Boom! Light is different, body is freaked out a bit and essentially we are “out of rhythm”. So now we understand what happened, what can we do to get over the daylight savings as quickly as possible? For some people this can take a month to regulate! So it’s not too late to change things up a little to get some order back in your life and getting that sleeping back in order!

  1. Leave a couple of hours between eating and sleeping. Get that body in a better state for sleeping, when your body is trying to digest food, it’s doing a workout. A workout doesn’t equal a good sleep.
  2. Plan your bedtime and wake up time. Ensure you are getting a good 8 hrs sleep, set your alarm in the morning and ensure you set a reminder to go to sleep by a certain time.
  3. Relax. Prior to bedtime is downtime. Put the mobile device away (that blue light affects melatonin release!!), have a warm bath, a chamomile tea, meditate… just keep it easy and relaxing to induce a healthy sleep.
  4. Trouble getting to sleep? Keep a notepad next to your bed as getting to sleep is one of the downsides to daylight savings. Note all your worries down and get them out of your head to help relax your thoughts.
  5. Darken your room. Ensure you have a ventilated and dark room, this will assist the sleep process…and melatonin production.

So what do you do during the day to deal with that awful tiredness and general blah feeling…!

  1. Exercise. This seems counter-intuitive as you’re so tired, but pick the right exercise. If you are runner, opt for a slower pace walk. Intensive yogini? Try instead a lovely relaxed yin or restorative session to ease into the day.
  2. Eat healthy. Give your body the best chance of dealing with the changes in hormones with nutritious meals and snacks. See what fruit and veggies are in season and stock up!
  3. Hydrate. As you are out of whack it’s easy to forget your good habits, keep the water uptake regular to assist your body with the changes.
  4. Meditate. So what balances the endocrine system, which balances our natural rhythms? Meditation of course! Try a short session both morning and night to get your day started right and finish on a relaxing note too. Just keep it simple and just concentrate on your breathing…in and out… slowly extending the length of the breath in to a count of 4 and out to a count of 4.
  5. Fresh air and grounding. Get out in nature, throw your feet in a creek or it you are feeling really brave, go for a dunk in the ocean!

Let’s dust of the cranky pants and take some action to reclaim our ‘rhythm’ again by getting some normality back into our week again – so we can enjoy those luscious sun rays into the evening.

 

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