Daylight Saving Time Begins March 11th

It’s National Sleep Awareness Week and Daylight Saving Time is this Sunday March 11th, so I figured now more than ever I should recap some of the most important sleep tips so that you can learn how to get quality sleep.  Especially since we’ll be losing an hour of precious sleep this Sunday, getting enough shut eye will be an issue for all of us.

Let’s start with the basics.  A dark, cool and quiet bedroom is the perfect environment that will promote quality sleep.  The darker the room, the better; room darkening shades can help you achieve optimal darkness.  And if you’re on the go, an eye mask will also help simulate a dark room.  It is recommended to keep your room between 60 degrees and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  If that sounds too cold to you, then bring extra blankets to bed so that you will feel warmer.  It’s beneficial to sleep in a cool room because it becomes easier to reach deep sleep when our core body temperature drops a little bit.  So although you may be wrapped up in your comforter, your head is still exposed and that’s enough to lower your temperature.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, don’t hit the snooze button!  Hitting the snooze button every 10 or so minutes for the half hour to hour before you officially wake up, isn’t helping you at all.  If you set your alarm for the time you actually get out of bed, you will have longer uninterrupted sleep, therefore you will wake up feeling more rested and ready to take on your day!

Ritualize your bedtime routine.  Completing a few relaxing tasks each night before bed will ease your body into a relaxed state and will be easier to fall asleep.  Whether you take a hot bath, wash your face or read a book, just make sure your bedtime routine doesn’t involve your electronics.  No TV, cell phones, tablets or computers at least two hours before bed.  The light your electronics emit ceases melatonin production, so you won’t feel tired and ready for bed if you’re checking your emails right before bed.

I also put two sleep tips to the test to see how effective they really are.  My first sleep tip experiment tested if exercising too close to bedtime would keep you up all night.  I found that when it comes to exercising affecting sleep, it really depends on the person.  I was fine with exercising late at night, but for other people it doesn’t work well for them.  My second sleep tip experiment was going without coffee for a week.  The results from this experiment proved to me that eliminating my regular coffee consumption helped me sleep even better!  I definitely believe that avoiding caffeine in the afternoon will help anyone sleep better.

What is your favorite sleep tip?  Do any sleep tips work for you?  How about, what sleep tips don’t work for you?  Tell me your sleep tip trials and tribulations in the comment section below so that we can get a conversation going!

 

Contributor: Emily Barrett

The Most Sleep Deprived Occupations

A recent study conducted for Sleepy’s has found the top 10 most and least sleep-deprived jobs.  This study comes in light of Daylight Saving Time which is less than one month away (Sunday, March 11th)!  As we all prepare to lose an hour of sleep in March, check out the list of the already sleep-deprived occupations:

  1. Home Health Aides
  2. Lawyers
  3. Police Officers
  4. Physicians, Paramedics
  5. Economists
  6. Social Workers
  7. Computer Programmers
  8. Financial Analysts
  9. Plant Operators
  10. Secretaries

I can see why home health aides top the list of most sleep-deprived job because many aides are working for more than one family and frequently work night shifts.  These sleep-deprived occupations can also be related to most stressful and most dangerous jobs rankings, which is no surprise why they are also sleep-deprived.  On the opposite end of this study, the most well-rested occupations were also determined.  Here’s that list:

  1. Forest, Logging Workers
  2. Hairstylists
  3. Sales Representatives
  4. Bartenders
  5. Construction Workers
  6. Athletes
  7. Landscapers
  8. Engineers
  9. Aircraft Pilots
  10. Teachers

The theme among some of the well-rested jobs is that many are jobs that require working outdoors.  Getting additional time in the sun not only boosts moods, but also helps keep the circadian rhythm in order.  No matter if you’re in the most sleep-deprived or well-rested occupations, sleep is important for not only health, but also job performance.  So on Sunday March 11th when we all lose an hour of sleep, keep these sleep tips in mind, to make sure you get your quality sleep.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Sleep in a room that is dark, quiet & cool.
  • Make sure your mattress properly supports your body.
  • Avoid caffeine after 12pm.

For more great information about sleep and health visit Sleep.com.

 

Contributor: Emily Barrett