Mental Health Monday: Recovering Your Sleep Routine

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November 3, 2017
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Mental Health Monday: Recovering Your Sleep Routine

For most people the Fall Back hour gained during Daylight Savings Time is certainly preferred over the Spring Ahead loss of sleep.  Still, any change to sleep routine, and in particular the days and weeks after the time change, can leave us feeling groggy, irritable, and underperforming at our craft.  Psychologists call this“sleep desynchronosis.” As with all topics that we cover in the Mental Health Monday series we know that there’s an underlying economic impact when it comes to anything effecting our mental or physical health.  

The Business Insider published an article that documented that hit to your wallet due to the time change: Daylight Savings Time is Bad for your Health and for the Economy. While the article focuses on the Spring change it notes that even in the Fall, “we might have trouble adjusting to going to sleep “later” after the time change, but still having to get up early for work or school.” Anytime our sleep is altered or changed research notes it, “can cause decreases in performance, concentration, and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness.” This contributes to an increase in car accidents, assaults, missed opportunities for productivity, and even a hit to the financial markets— making resetting the clock a costly change.  In 2013 it was estimated that Daylight Savings Time “cost could be up to $434 million in the U.S. alone. ” 

Do you consider yourself a night owl? The research also shows that you may be more negatively impacted by the change we just underwent and can take as long as three weeks to recover and experience normalcy in your sleep again. 

So what can you do short of grabbing an extra latte today?  According to an article in Psychology Today, Readjusting After Daylight Savings you can try these three simple suggestions for a smoother transition:

  • Go to bed earlier for the next few nights (even 15 minutes can make a difference)
  • Try over the counter melatonin if needed at night
  • Don’t alter your schedule or skip out on your normal workout or home routines 

So today as you try to shake that jet lagged feeling or convince yourself to get to the gym even though it’s already dark out remember you’re not alone!  A few consistent days of sticking with your new schedule and hopefully you’ll begin to feel your sharpness coming back.


Related Reading: 

Another reason to hate daylight saving time: More assaults  



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