This weekend is Daylight Savings Time in the U.S.!
I can feel it on the horizon. This morning it was starting to get light already when I was out for a morning walk at 6 a.m., and I felt a little giddy!
I love, seriously LOVE, Daylight Savings Time. I love moving towards longer days, and the lighter feeling I get when spring is approaching. I love the promise of spring that Daylight Savings Time brings. I love ditching the winter coats and sweaters and packing them away. I love wearing brighter, cheerier colors.
I might be the only person I know who actually wants to “spring forward”! A lot of people don’t care for the spring time change because it means losing an hour of sleep. I hear it’s hard on children too, and now that I have a child, my perspective on it might change, but for now, I love it.
The sleep issue is a real one, though, especially if you’re trying to conceive.
Studies have regularly shown that people who regularly get 8-9 hours of sleep a night improve their chances of conceiving.
When we sleep, our body repairs itself and regulates our hormones, including leptin which affects ovulation. Women need adequate sleep for proper leptin production. Sleep also affects the other “fertility hormones”—estrogen, progesterone, Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone.
Basically, if you get less than 8 hours of sleep your endocrine system, which produces all of these hormones, might not function properly, and a properly functioning endocrine system is essential for successful conception.
Plus, getting enough sleep, and good quality, sleep, helps you feel better physically and mentally. You’re not so tired and drained, which can only help you on your fertility journey.
So don’t skimp on your sleep!
Here are some do’s and don’ts to help get the most out of your sleep:
- DO go to bed as close to the same time each night as possible. Yes, this includes Friday and Saturday nights! This isn’t to say you can’t go out and live it up every once in a while but make that the exception, not the norm.
- By the same token, DO wake up at the same time as much as possible each day. It’s so tempting to want to sleep in, especially on the weekend, but your overall circadian rhythms work best when they’re consistent.
- DO experiment with different sleep schedules to find what works best for you. For me, I’ve noticed that 8 hours of sleep between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. feels a lot better than 8 hours between midnight and 8 a.m., even though I’ve gotten the same amount of sleep. When I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, I feel more refreshed and like I’ve gotten a better night’s sleep. Try going to bed at different times and see what makes you feel best.
- DON’T eat right before bedtime. Your sleep can be compromised when your digestive system has to work hard during the night. Try to eat your last big meal by 6 pm in order to go to bed at 10. You can have a light snack after that but avoid heavy foods and large quantities.
- DON’T watch TV in bed right before bedtime. Keep the TV out of your room. And DON’T use your Smartphone or iPad right before bed (this one is really hard for me!). You can read before going to bed, but it’s best to read an old-fashioned book rather than a Kindle.
What works for you to get a good night’s sleep? Leave a comment below! And Happy Daylight Savings Time!