Shift Out of Daylight Savings Time Mindfully
In Toronto, Ontario we mark the end of Daylight Savings Time (DST) by turning our clocks back one hour this Sunday, November 3rd. The majority of people are very excited to get back that extra hour of sleep, which can have a positive effect on our minds + bodies. It’s important to note that time change alters our circadian rhythm (body clock) which can effect our general health and well-being. Our goal here is to educate you on the changes happening around + within us, and provide you with tools to shift out of DST mindfully.
For some, this time of year can mean going to work when it’s still dark out and coming home when it’s dark out, too. The decrease in daylight hours happening in the Fall + Winter is when people can experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Decreased Vitamin D levels can affect sleep quality and our mood, so consider taking appropriate Vitamin D supplements and going for a walk during daylight hours if possible. To learn more about how to bring your internal world into balance, put your remaining benefits to use and book a Naturopathic Consultation.
LED light bulbs are made to simulate sunlight and can help your body clock adjust during a seasonal change. Some people also benefit from using SAD lamps in the Winter months.
Daily routine plays an important role in staying balanced. Try waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. Our internal clock is set by our wake up time more than our bedtime, so at the very least try keeping your morning alarm consistent and get out of bed right when it goes off. If you want to sleep in or stay up on the weekends, try shifting your schedule by only one hour. Being exposed to light early in the day wakes us up, but there is less of this available to us after the Fall time change. Open your curtains right when you wake up even if the sun hasn’t risen yet, and open your windows even if just slightly to allow a bit of fresh air into your space.
Adequate sleep is key any time of the year, especially during time changes and seasonal shifts. Stress is often associated with poor sleep + insomnia, so relaxation and pre-sleep rituals can help. Mindful meditation is a helpful tool for sleep hygiene and can also be used in the morning as a way to set your intention for the day and maintain a parasympathetic (relaxed) state as you move forward. Limit your intake of coffee + caffeine to before 1:00PM to get a better night’s rest and lower your cortisol (stress) levels. Drink a relaxing herbal tea and try fasting 3 hours before bed. Try less or no screen time one hour before bed, and opt for no screens in the bedroom if possible. One of our favourite sleep rituals is applying the Sleep Well Roll-On to the nape of the neck, wrists and temples, and letting essential oils of lavender and ylang ylang to help ease us into rejuvenating sleep.
Our diet can also shift during this time change as we tend to crave comfort foods such as baked potatoes, pasta, bread, etc. Balance out your comfort cravings by incorporating lots of lightly cooked vegetables into your meals - ideally 50% of your plate is veggies! Listening to our bodies and what we crave is a great way to eat intuitively. It makes sense that we would crave more warming, hearty food this time of year, so enjoy! For more internal support, book a Holistic Nutrition Consultation.
Another great way to warm and wake us up is by moving our bodies. Fit exercise into your daily routine to keep your body temperature up while boosting energy levels and improving your mood. Getting outdoors for a mid-day walk is an amazing option as you’ll also receive the essential benefits of natural Vitamin D intake. Any form of exercise is going to benefit you, even 5-10 minutes of gentle stretching every morning and night at home.
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