Moving your clocks one hour forward this weekend?

On the night of Saturday March 8th 2014 leading into Sunday March 9th 2014 the time is moving one hour forward, are you ready to make the adjustment to your daily routine?

 Although it is an annual event that can sometimes bring the enthusiasm of knowing spring is on its way studies have shown that when the clock goes an hour forward many Canadians are not prepared and as a result it compounds our already hectic schedules to leave us sleep deprived.

 Sleep deprivation is defined as a condition that occurs when you do not get enough sleep.  Although sleep is a vital part of good health and is as important as other basic human needs its importance is often overlooked and minimized when we prioritize our day.

Sleep deprivation can lead to:

  • Mental health problems – including contributing to the symptoms of depression
  • Serious health problems such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes
  • Loss of concentration and productivity 
  • Impaired judgment
  • Injuries on the job
  • Accidents and greater risks of death
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Weight gain

 Signs and symptoms that indicate you may be sleep deprived:  

  • Inability or decreased ability to handle stress.  Sleep deprivation wears down our normal capacities to deal with daily routines that may include aggravations and challenges, such as normal rush hour traffic on the roads or the rush hour in your kitchen getting kids ready for school each morning. 
  • Mood swings – situations may seem more irritable or even overwhelming affecting your relationships with those around you
  • Inability to concentrate  or make decisions – putting strain on your  brain’s prefrontal cortex affects your decision-making abilities
  • Poor Memory – you may become uncharacteristically forgetful
  • Medical problems – the immune system begins to lower its defences
  • Increased appetite – difficulty controlling your cravings as your body attempts to increase its fuel to keep going 

If this sounds like you or someone you know don’t panic, making some minor adjustments to your daily routine can prevent many of the negative effects that occur as a result of sleep deprivation.   

Here are some tips:Make sure you get 7-8 hours sleep each night        

  • Go to bed at the same time every night  
  • Avoid exercise for at least three to four hours before you go to bed
  • Avoid eating heavy meals late in the day
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day
  • Have a routine to help you relax and unwind  These adjustments to your daily routine can help improve your sleep patterns and decrease the negative effects however sometimes things are easier said than done.  If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation but are struggling with how to make sleep a priority we can help.  

The Family Enhancement Centre provides phone coaching on many topics including stress management and time management helping you to meet your goals and keep on the right track for your optimum wellness.  Phone coaching sessions can be scheduled in short 20 minute blocks to respect your time and get you back in the game with the right strategies for success.  Call us today!