How to improve your sleep when the clocks go forward


British Summer Time is on the horizon, but there’s no need to lose sleep over it. Vitality Magazine gives you some tips on how to get enough sleep this springtime


It’s that time of year. Spring has officially found its flow and warmer days are giving a nod to warmer weather that’s to come.

Though, there is one unwelcome comeback to the changing season: springtime insomnia. 

Research shows that when the clocks move forward it can take weeks for our bodies to readjust to the schedule of a new sleep pattern. Naturally lighter mornings can also mean we’re more susceptible to waking early.

This can not only interfere with our sleep patterns, but a knock-on effect can be our cognitive function and overall wellbeing.

“Good sleep will help us have higher capacity for concentration, decision making and productivity, but also has a positive impact on emotion regulation and on our social interactions,” says Vitality Coach and Mental Health expert, Silvia Cordoba. 

“Promoting good sleep helps our amygdala too, which is a part of our brain crucial for responding to stress or danger. This, as a result decreases our anxiety and improves our stress management,” she adds.

So, to make sure get enough sleep this springtime, we’ve compiled some tips to help you sail through the season.

Between the sheets 

Changing your sheets more often in springtime can help to promote better sleep patterns. It helps to regulate your body temperature, reducing sweating, which can change significantly as the arrival of spring brings warmer evenings. More regularly washing your sheets at this time of year also reduces the number of allergens in your bed, such as pollen, which is more prominent during spring. 

Sleep courses

The Headspace app offers meditative sleep courses that are designed to help winddown for sleep. The latest in its roster is a cognitive behaviour therapy programme aimed at those with insomnia. Made up of daily 10-minute sessions, the three-week programme offers expert guidance, meditations and written exercises. Giving allocated time to turn off and decompress from the day with support from experts may make all the difference to not just your sleep pattern but overall wellbeing. 

Find out how Vitality Writer, Olivia Matsell, got on when she tried mindfulness through the Headspace app for a month. I tried mindfulness for a month | Magazine | Vitality

Time your exercise

Exercise is beneficial to so many areas of our health, including our sleep. However, exercising late in the evening can have a negative impact on getting to the land of nod. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which can create a level of activity within the brain that keeps us awake. Plus, it also raises our core body temperature, telling our bodies we need to be awake. Ramping up exercise during spring though will help with insomnia – just be mindful of timings. 

Take control 

Tracking your sleep is one way that you can take control of your sleeping patterns and help you understand how to get better quality sleep. “Sleep is the ultimate catalyst for everyday wellness,” says Lee Dinham, Samsung Galaxy Watch Product Specialist. “Sleep monitoring and sleep coaching through a Samsung Galaxy Watch can help you understand your sleep data better and see what behaviours may be impacting your sleep.” Though, don’t lose sleep over it; make sure your tracker is helping you improve your sleep and not detracting. 

Related: The fundamentals of sleep

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