Nourish - Preparing for Daylight Saving Time: Tips for a Smooth Transition
As autumn arrives, so does the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST). This year it will be going back on October 29th.
While the extra hour of sleep is a welcome change, the shift can still disrupt our internal clocks and daily routines. The good news is that with a little preparation, you can make the transition smoother and minimize the effects on your sleep and daily life.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing which supplements and herbs are supportive to you to help ensure that when the clocks go back, you still get a restful night’s sleep. Let’s get on with it then : )
Preparing for Daylight Saving Time: Tips for a Smooth Transition
No. 1 – Gradual Adjustments
One of the keys to a seamless transition is to start adjusting your schedule gradually. Beginning a few days before the time change, shift your bedtime and wake-up time by 15 minutes earlier each day. This gentle progression will help your body adapt to the new time without abrupt disruptions.
No. 2 – Sleep-Supporting Supplements
There are some sleep-supporting supplements and herbs certainly worth considering if you find it difficult to sleep or relax before bed. Or, perhaps getting to sleep is fine but you want a helping hand in improving your sleep quality. Let’s see what can help!
Magnesium supplements are very often recommended for improving sleep because they have a calming effect on the nervous system. As a result, many people find it helpful for relaxation and sleep support.
Magnesium bis-glycinate is a well-absorbed and gentle form of magnesium. It’s a form of magnesium where the mineral is bound to glycine, an amino acid. This binding to glycine makes magnesium more readily absorbed by the body compared to some other forms of magnesium supplements, which sometimes have unwanted laxative effects.
When to Take Magnesium to Help with Sleep?
As with many things, this will vary from person to person, and it often depends on how your body responds to the supplement. However, a general guideline is to take it in the evening or about 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
This timing allows the magnesium to start relaxing muscles and calm the nervous system, making it easier to fall asleep and experience deeper, more restorative sleep.
Consistency: To optimize its sleep-supporting effects, it’s important to take magnesium bis-glycinate consistently, preferably at the same time each day. Consistency helps regulate your body’s magnesium levels and maintain a stable sleep-wake cycle.
L-Theanine is an amino acid primarily found in tea leaves, particularly in green tea. This amino acid helps to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness and may improve sleep quality. Just the ticket!
Since it’s found in green tea, you may wonder, why take a supplement when you can have a cuppa? Well, whether you choose a supplement form or green tea form is entirely up to you. Here are some considerations regarding L-Theanine in supplement form versus green tea:
L-Theanine supplements offer a concentrated and standardized dose of the amino acid, which is pretty convenient if you’re looking to experience its calming effects more consistently. Supplement doses typically range from 100 to 200 mg.
Green Tea Form
Green tea contains L-Theanine naturally, along with caffeine. While L-Theanine may have a calming effect, green tea also contains caffeine, which is stimulating for some and may interfere with sleep if consumed in large quantities or too close to bedtime. Some individuals are more sensitive to caffeine’s stimulating effects than others.
My personal favourite way to get my L-theanine in is via a good cup of matcha tea. It’s delicious and fun to make. I wrote a couple of blog posts all about it if you’re interested:
When to take L-Theanine
Daytime: L-Theanine is often taken during the day to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation without causing drowsiness.
Evening: If you find that green tea doesn’t disrupt your sleep and you enjoy its calming effects, have a cup in the evening.
Nighttime: If you’re specifically looking to use L-Theanine for sleep, taking it in supplement form about 30-60 minutes before bedtime might be more effective. That’s because it doesn’t contain caffeine and can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety, potentially making it easier to fall asleep. This approach allows you to avoid the stimulating effects of caffeine in green tea.
- Viridian L-Theanine & Lemon Balm Veg Caps
- New Nordic Melissa Dream
- Higher Nature Balance For Nerves
- Matcha Tea
- Green Tea
Passionflower (aka passiflora) is a herbal supplement known for its sedative and calming effects. It’s pretty popular thanks to its reputation for helping to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
While the exact mechanisms of how passionflower promotes sleep are not fully understood, there are several ways in which it may contribute to better sleep:
Improved Sleep Quality
Many people take Passionflower because it not only helps them fall asleep more easily but also improves the overall quality of their sleep. Additionally, it may even help reduce the number of wake-ups during the night and enhance the duration of deep, restorative sleep.
Reduction in Nightmares
If you suffer from nightmares and night sweats, passionflower helps to alleviate these.
Reduction of Anxiety and Stress
If you suffer from anxiety-related sleep disturbance, passionflower may just be your herb of choice. Passionflower is known for its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. By helping to reduce anxiety and stress, it helps to indirectly support better sleep.
Unsurprisingly, anxiety and racing thoughts are common barriers to falling asleep, and passionflower’s calming properties may help ease these mental disturbances.
Like many other herbal remedies used for sleep, passionflower is often used for its muscle relaxant properties. Tense muscles tend to contribute to restlessness and difficulty falling asleep, so muscle relaxation helps aid in the sleep process.
No. 3 – Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogenic herbs help the body cope with stress and maintain balance, which is especially beneficial during the daylight saving transition. Two of my favourites for this time of year are Ashwagandha and Reishi.
Ashwagandha and reishi are adaptogenic herbs known for their potential to improve sleep indirectly by reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and enhancing overall well-being. Here’s how each of these herbs may contribute to better sleep:
Ashwagandha is well-known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Chronic stress significantly interferes with sleep quality and the ability to fall asleep. By reducing stress, ashwagandha may help calm the mind, making it easier to unwind and fall asleep.
Ashwagandha helps to regulate cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone associated with the body’s stress response. When cortisol levels are elevated in the evening, it disrupts the natural circadian rhythm and makes it difficult to sleep. Enter Ashwagandha.
This supportive herb is often taken to help maintain healthy cortisol levels, therefore supporting a more regular sleep-wake cycle.
The herb’s anxiety-reducing effects often helps individuals with anxiety-related sleep disorders. By promoting a sense of calm and reducing racing thoughts, ashwagandha makes it easier to fall asleep and experience deeper, more restorative sleep.
For Sleep Support
Feel free to take Ashwagandha during the day or in the evening. Try about an hour before bedtime, to help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
- What’s the Scoop on Ashwagandha
- Wild Nutrition Ksm-66 Ashwagandha Plus
- Nature’s Plus Bioadvanced Stress Support
Reishi is a type of mushroom with a long traditional use in traditional Chinese medicine for various health benefits, including its potential to improve sleep.
The adaptogenic nature of this mushroom means it may help the body adapt to and cope with stress more effectively. Reducing stress and anxiety leads to a more relaxed state, making it easier to fall asleep and experience restful sleep.
Reishi may help balance certain hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone associated with the body’s stress response and its regulation can impact the sleep-wake cycle. By helping maintain healthier cortisol levels, reishi may support a more consistent sleep pattern.
Reishi also helps to balance the immune system, reduce inflammation in the body, and improve mood. When people feel better mentally and emotionally, they are more likely to experience better sleep quality.
I hope this glimpse into just some of the herbs and supplements available to help with your transition through the end of Daylight Saving Time will be of use to you.
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.