It’s safe to say that spring has finally sprung! The days are lighter, the breeze is warmer and we feel sleepier than ever. What gives?
We anticipate having boundless energy as we leave our semi-hibernative states that protected us so well from the harsh winter, but many of us fall victim to substantial sleepiness as the seasons fluctuate. According to Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D., an environmental scholar with the National Sleep Foundation, much of this drowsiness is due to the fact that our bodies take time to adjust our sleep-wake cycles to match the new season patterns, and that timing is often out of sync with Mother Nature.
Pair that biological shift with our subconscious behavioral changes that come along with the changing of the seasons, and you have a solid recipe for sleep deprivation. However, recognizing the elements that are effecting the quality and quantity of your shut-eye can go a long way in turning that spring sleepiness into the steady energy you so desire.
Sure, we gained an extra hour of sunlight in the evening last month, but that doesn’t mean we feel ready to jump out of bed when that alarm clock screams at us in the morning.
“With Daylight Saving Time, we experience a desynchronization with the daylight cycle, the clock time, and our sleep-wake rhythm,” Dautovich told The Huffington Post. Every person returns to that natural equilibrium at a different pace, and those who do so more slowly tend to really feel its effects as they nod off at their desks in the middle of the afternoon. “We like routine, and our sleep-wake cycle is very responsive to consistency, so changes in the time we go to bed and wake up can be disruptive.”
Allergies can definitely be the reason you aren’t reaching the deeper, more restorative phases of sleep during the springtime. A 2013 study from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America found that 59 percent of people who suffer from nasal allergies also struggle with their sleep quality due to their symptoms. And even if you don’t allergies, your partner might — 48 percent of people say their bedmate’s sneezing and sniffling also disturbs their sleep. After consulting with your physician for treatment options, test out these nine sleep environment and routine adjustments to see if they help reduce problematic symptoms.