Young Athletes: Healthy sleep habits to get through daylight savings

Daylight Savings_CAL Sports AcademyTurning the clock forward or back for Daylight Saving Time is always hard. Losing an hour in the spring can leave you groggy for weeks while the extra hour in the fall can feel like a windfall – but can disrupt your sleep nonetheless. Follow these tips to get through time change sleep disruption so that when morning comes you’re ready to face the day.

Make a sleep pact

Make a deal with yourself that you’re going to plan for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day, even if the day is an hour shorter. Work backwards from the time you need to get up and set your bedtime. Setting aside time to get the sleep you need is a gift you can give yourself. Once you’ve set a bedtime, stick with it so that it becomes part of your routine.

Develop an appetite for good sleep

Eating and drinking can actually disrupt your sleep. Plan to finish meals and snacks 2 to 3 hours before bedtime because digestion wakes up your body.

Daytime steps to good sleep

Staying active during the day will help your body crave sleep at night. Even a walk can help you sleep better. Be sure to end your workout 2 hours before you head to bed so your body has time to relax. A short 20-minute nap during the day can also prepare you for a good night. Short naps like these can help your body adjust to the time change and help you feel ready for sleep at your normal bedtime. Be sure to expose yourself to lots of bright light throughout the daytime to help your body know it is time to be alert.

When you wake up each morning refreshed and relaxed, your whole day is already off to a great start. Your bedroom plays a key role in getting the sleep your body needs. It’s a place where you unwind, so it needs to be comfortable and friendly.

*Excerpts from The Sleep Council