Spring’s Arrival Means More Daylight and Improved Sleep Patterns

The arrival of spring is good news for people who have struggled with sleep disruptions over the winter months, despite the short term disruption to sleep patterns immediately after the change to Daylight Savings Time.

“It may sound a bit counter intuitive, but a good dose of sunlight can help you sleep at night,” says Dr. Lisa Shives, a medical doctor specializing in sleep issues who partners with SleepBetter.org to offer medical insights about health and rest issues. “The reason is found in our very nature. Light helps to regulate our biological clock and keep it on track.  Research has shown that people deprived of light for long periods of time can experience dramatic changes in their sleep, temperature and hormone cycles.”

Here is some additional advice on how to take full advantage of the seasonal change:

  • You need to reset your internal clock every day. The best way to do it is by getting plenty of sunlight.  Morning light is best, but if you get up and off to work before the sun comes up, be sure to get outside for a little while each day.
  • Direct sunlight provides the most benefit. Most artificial indoor lighting is much less effective.
  • Try to stick to consistent sleep times and wake-up times, even on weekends.

If you are particularly sensitive to lack of sunlight, investigate the purchase of a light box that will provide artificial light that is similar to sunlight.