Are you moving to a new time zone or travel frequently for work? The body works on a 24-hour cycle, known as the circadian rhythm which determines when we wake and sleep. When a time change is thrust into the mix, the body needs time to adjust to a new schedule, light exposure, and biological changes. Prepare for the change so that you can enjoy your new time zone with as little disruption to your sleep as possible.
You can sleep better in your new time zone with these easy tips:
Plan – Research the time change of your destination. Prepare a few days before your trip and go to bed later or get up earlier to align with the time change difference. Adjust your watch or a clock in your bedroom to the new time zone and get acclimated before you get there.
Light – Your body reacts to light. If possible, get direct sunlight exposure as soon as you wake up. The exposure to light will help you regulate your sleep in a more natural way. If you have a regular sleep schedule, try to stick to it in the new time zone.
Resist – The desire to sleep is strong when you’ve been awake for prolonged periods, regardless of the time zone. Fight the urge as long as you can however and try to stay awake until bedtime in the new time zone. Like jet lag, the body is still synchronized to the time schedule where you originated from and may need some time to adjust.
Once you’ve become acclimated to your new time zone and surroundings, your normal sleep patterns should resume. However, if you are still restless and not able to adjust to the new time zone after a few days, consider a sleep monitor to help identify what is keeping you up.