Welcome to The Sleep Coach Blog.

Thanks for following me, and welcome to my first Sleep Coach blog.

At the end of this week/month the clocks will be going forwards (summer solstice), which means that many of us will get caught out by this, only to discover on the Sunday morning when we wake up and either our usual time (except that it’s not) and we are somehow missing a vital hour sleep leading to tiredness, grumpiness, and being more accident prone. Or we have ignored any alarm clocks etc and are now unexpectedly running late having lost an hour of precious time!

So it is my better sleep advice to those like myself for whom sleep is a very precious commodity. Whether you are a parent, an insomniac, or just someone who needs the right amount of regular sleep each night in order to function well the next day.

1. Before going to bed (ideally at least one hour before bed), set all your clocks manually an hour ahead. Then tell yourself that this new time is the real time, fully accept it, and prepared to go to bed at the correct time based on what all your clocks around you tell you the time is.

2. Accept that when the clocks go either forwards or backwards, it usually takes at least one day to completely recover from this change.

3. During the next week of adjustment, I also recommend that you reduce the late night use of computers and PDAs, iPhones iPads etc, as the light from these devices effects the pineal gland in the brain (which modulates the amount of melatonin), Bright lights, even from computer screens reduces the amount of melatonin, thus making it harder to fall asleep as the brain believes that it still daytime.

4. For those who find it difficult to go to sleep early, I recommend hot baths, carbohydrates and protein in equal balance, and eating fresh avocado. Obviously reducing caffeine, coffee, tea, chocolate.

5.  Practice ways of relaxing and unwinding before going to sleep.

Although in practice without this forward planning we will in fact be losing an hour of sleep, there is one silver lining. There is research that shows that when we get up earlier 50% of people notice that their mood improves. Although it was Abraham Lincoln who once famously said “that most people are as happy as they make their minds up to be”.

Welcome to the summer solstice.

Spring is TRULY on its way!

Max Kirsten

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