Day Light Savings Time is again upon us! To eliminate the Monday blahs that often follow this necessary adjustment for most in the U.S., we need to make some preliminary actions that could reduce that “lack of energy” feeling most of us have to deal with. According to a recent ABC News report, the following actions should help:
Soak Up the Morning Light
Getting some early morning sun Saturday and Sunday can help the brain’s sleep-wake cycle line up with the new light-dark cycle. But it means getting up and outside at dawn. Sleeping by a window won’t cut it, Lewy said. The sunlight needs to be direct because glass filters out much of the frequencies involved in re-setting the sleep-wake cycle.
Avoid Evening Light
Resisting the urge to linger in the late sunlight Sunday and Monday also can help the body clock adjust, Lewy said.
Try a Low Dose of Melatonin
While light synchronizes the body clock in the morning, the hormone melatonin updates it at night.
The exact function of the hormone, produced by the pea-size pineal gland in the middle of the brain, is unclear. But it can activate melatonin receptors on the neurons of the body clock, acting as a “chemical signal for darkness,” Lewy said.
Taking a low-dose (less than 0.3 milligrams) of melatonin late in the afternoon Friday through Monday can help sync the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles. But be careful: Though melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement, it can cause drowsiness and interfere with other drugs.
So remember to set those clocks forward one hour tonight before going to bed and go forth and conquer!