Having a hard time handling the time change with this spring forward business?
You’re not alone; our body clock is the inbuilt cycle affected by environmental cues like sunlight and temperature. Also known as the circadian rhythm, this cycle affects our sleeping, mood and eating patterns and the impact of lost sleep, for some, can feel like a mini jet lag.
Below are some tips along with some yoga poses to help you deal.
Adjust Your Sleep Schedule & Unwind with Yin
After you turn your clocks ahead, consider going to bed a few minutes earlier the days following the time change. An adjustment of five or ten minutes each evening will recoup that lost hour without too much effort. Make sure your night’s sleep is a good one by incorporating a little restorative yoga such as Yin in the early evening.
Twenty minutes spent in a restorative position supported by blankets, blocks and a bolster will help you to unwind and relax. Avoid excessive screen time, whether it be tv, computer or phone, and spend that time mindfully enjoying a cup of chamomile tea, reading and journaling or meditating quietly. Alternatively, a warm shower sprinkled with a few drops of lavender oil before climbing into bed can prompt the body and mind to prepare for sleep.
Be Mindful of Your Mood with Inversion Poses
You may be moody and groggy with that whole sleep shift and waking up earlier. A gentle backbend yoga pose such as bhujangasana (cobra) or urdhva dhanurasana (wheel) will open the chest helping to lift the mood and energize you first thing in the morning. Also light exposure during the day will help raise levels of serotonin, the natural chemical in us that is considered a mood stabilizer.
Try a lunchtime walk or, later in the evening, take a few moments to introduce a light yoga practice of supine poses or viparita karani pose (legs up the wall). Another great tip to help with mood during the time transition is to focus on your connection with the breath and become more mindful of breathing patterns.
Eat Well & Try Digestion-activating Poses
Rising earlier coupled with the time change can take your eating pattern a little off-balance. As it is spring and the days are brighter and temperature warming (hopefully!) try and avoid the heavy, wintry diet that you may have enjoyed during the colder months and start introducing lighter foods with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Phase out the heavy soups, reduce the carbohydrates, enjoy some antioxidant-packed organic detox tea and include more veggie based meals to keep your diet light and digestion comfortable. To help with digestion, you could also try a couple poses to activate your metabolism such as Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat-Cow) and Pavanamuktasana (wind-relieving pose). Also, as productivity is said to be lost in the days after the time change avoid tackling any ambitious new projects until you are fully in tune with the new time.