Spring Sleep

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The pillow’s low, the quilt is warm, the body smooth and peaceful,
Sun shines on the door of the room, the curtain not yet open.
Still the youthful taste of spring remains in the air,
Often it will come to you even in your sleep.
– Bai Juyi (772–846) Chinese poet

Today is the vernal equinox or first day of spring. One week ago, we began Daylight Savings Time and turned our clocks ahead one hour. Many of us are still adjusting to this change to our daily, or circadian rhythms. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences defines circadian rhythms as physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle. Traveling across time zones, staring at a computer screen late at night or working the third shift can also negatively influence these rhythms. When our internal and external clocks are not in sync, it can seriously affect our well-being, including our ability to get the proper amount of sleep.

The good news is that there a few things we can go to help. Light is the main cue for our internal clocks. We should take full advantage of the spring weather and soak up that sun during the day. At night we should gradually dim our surroundings to signal our bodies that is time for sleep. Darkness allows our bodies to produce melatonin, one of the crucial components of sleep.

And remember, if you need a little extra help in adjusting, there is always a delicious treat that you eat thirty minutes before bedtime. Sleep Squares contain 300 mcg of melatonin, which is just the right amount to help synchronize your rhythms and put the spring back in your step.