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Daylight Savings - Get Your New Routine In Check

With daylight savings starting today it is important to adjust your routines so your body can make the necessary adjustments. That means tonight you will have to have your dinner, get off your phone earlier, stop working, and preparing for bed an hour earlier than you may feel like. That may be by doing some stretching, meditation, some reading, whatever works for you, it just can't be something too stimulating.

We have spoken about the importance of keeping a regular sleep/wake cycle many times in the past. Matthew Walker in his book Why We Sleep says that when we lose an hour of sleep when it turns to daylight savings time our risk of heart issues increases by 21% (I am writing this from memory so it could be 24%, but either way it is around that amount). This is a considerable amount for just one hour of sleep loss. The less you sleep in your lifetime the more the risk of poor health increases. For example, he mentions a Japanese study with over 4,000 male workers, in which they followed for fourteen years, and it found that those who slept 6 hours or less were 400 to 500 percent more likely to suffer one or more cardiac arrests than those sleeping more than 6 hours. He says that the relationship between short sleep and cardiac events remains strong even after controlling for other cardiac risk factors such as smoking, physical activity, and body mass.

If you are a younger person reading this and don't really care about the health effects of lack of sleep then the decrease in performance may be the thing that makes you want to focus on improving your routines to get the correct amount of sleep. In the article Sleep More to Increase Speed and Performance, I mention a study that showed an improvement in speed, reaction time and shooting accuracy in basketball players who got an average of 2 hours of extra sleep per night.

Lack of sleep also impacts your ability to retain information and impacts negatively on your memory. So if you have exams coming up or want to perform well at work, again try and get your routine in order as quickly as possible.

So to sum it up, get yourself into a routine today to set yourself up for a good night sleep. Set an alarm an hour or so before you want to go to bed to ensure you start to calm yourself down and set yourself up for sleep, get in some exercise early today, don't overdo the coffee and caffeine too late in the day, turn off your lights around the home so it is darker, and leave your phone out of your bedroom or at least put it as far away from you as possible and put it on flight mode.

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