Weekly Five: How to deal with Daylight Savings

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Though it seems incredible, Daylight Saving Time is upon us once again. Initially the idea of Benjamin Franklin, DST was introduced to lower energy costs, using the sunlight instead of electricity. Below are a few hints on how to sleep better as the “spring forward” time changes.

1. Exercise. It is ideal to exercise five or six times a week 30 minutes at a time

“There is pretty consistent evidence that [exercise] leads to good sleep, but not right before bed,” said Chad Jensen, an assistant professor of psychology.

Young adults can feel the difference when they maintain an exercise routine.

2. Avoid caffeine two hours before bed. Regardless of how caffeine tolerant you may think you are, it can and will still work as a stimulant

“I get restless for the eternities,” said Eden Wen, a BYU graduate. “One time, I couldn’t get to sleep until 3:30 am because I had a Coca-Cola before bed.”

3. Expose yourself to light. Evidence suggests that our interaction with the sun during the day can affect how we sleep at night

“Natural sunlight has shown to be very effective to regulate sleep skills,” said Jensen.

Five to ten minute therapeutic sunlight sessions are sometimes done to help people overcome seasonal depression, according to Patrick Stefeen, an associate professor of psychology.

4. Maintain good sleep hygiene

“Sleep hygiene is defined as the things you do every day to make sure your sleep quality is good, like brushing your teeth and showering to keep your body clean,” Jensen said.

It is extremely important to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, waking up being the most important factor, according to Steffen.

“Though it is hard for people, this should ideally happen on the weekends, too,” Steffen said.

“I try and have a bedtime routine like washing my face and brushing my teeth consistently, and I sleep very well,” said Rachel Holmes, a BYU graduate.

5. Don’t work on a computer or smart phone in bed. The bright lights emitted from the screen tell your body to stay awake

“Kids spend a lot of time reading, texting in beds, etc. and they associate beds with homework or whatever they are doing rather than sleep,” Jensen said.

It is important to train your body to think that bed is a place to sleep, and nothing else.

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