“Spare me from your darkness oh cruel November.” That was not Lady MacBeth that’s little ole me whining about my least favorite time of year. It’s when my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) rears its’ ugly head.
And what about you, did you REALLY get an extra hour of sleep this weekend? Do you REALLY feel more rested this Monday morning? Did you benefit from the “fall back” clock change. Not MOI!
If you are a woman over 50 years of age I’m betting the answer is NO NO and NO! The truth is you most likely don’t sleep well anyway so throwing us gals a bone of an extra hour isn’t a gift we need to unwrap.
And to think this was supposed to be the silver lining to dark afternoons and light deprivation. Who is happy about gaining an hour of sleep at the cost of darkness coming earlier?
Dr. Daniel Barone is a neurologist and sleep medicine expert at the Center for Sleep Medicine who says, “When you’re not getting as much sunlight, it has an effect on your mood. For some people, this can even mean the onset of a kind of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to WebMD.
Last night when my head hit the pillow, I tried a little self-talk.. “How lucky am I to have an extra hour in bed!” That kind of gratitude happy-talk did Nada for my sleep. I am still a candidate for ZOMBIES. My circadian rhythms (the only bodily rhythm I have left post-menopause) have missed the beat and I fear that I may not get back into the dance.
So despite the extra hour, I continued my ritualistic middle of the night behavior. I did what I have done every night for the past month, I devoured 2 hours of kindle pages under a dim light between 2 to 4 am. I have no clue why my sleep cycle is a mess but handing me an extra hour didn’t help.
So am I alone with this issue? Is anyone happy about the “extra hour” of sleep? Did you get to use yours? Maybe you can enlighten us as to how best to embrace this gift of time?
“The hour you “lost” with daylight savings time in the spring you “gain back” on Sunday, when clocks are set an hour back.
And every time shift takes a subtle toll on the human mind and body, experts say.
Here’s what you can do about it…
- Switch to LED lightbulbs. They’re made to simulate sunlight and can help you maintain a healthy circadian rhythm as seasons change.
- Cut out the evening nap. Dozing off after dinner sends confusing signals to your brain that can make bedtime later more challenging.
- Try mindful meditation. It can cut stress and encourage healthy sleep.
- Ban TVs, smartphones and laptops from the bedroom. The backlight display can disrupt sleep if used before lights-out.
- Keep bedrooms dark. Light creeping in can send a wake-up signal to the brain.”