For a couple of weeks the noticeably later sunrise and some of my patient’s complaints about sleep difficulties has had me thinking about my own fall preparation plans.
Last week I wrote about Supercharging Your Circadian Rhythms. This is what you may have to do if you have a job that requires that you be alert in the morning at a time when your body is naturally urging you to slow down, and if you live in a world where easy access to sleep disrupting light at night challenges your brains ability to get regular sleep even more.
I have also updated the reviews of natural supplements for insomnia. So you may want to go searching for melatonin supplements, although those supplements will not help much unless you take steps to avoid exposure to light (particularly blue light) at night, so your first step might be to get blue blocking glasses.
I have been at work setting up new lights (therapy light in the morning when I get up and it is still dark outside) and using my wireless lighting app to set up a gradual dawn effect in the bedroom that will help me get out of bed.
This year I have added to the task a particular focus on temperature based on strong evidence that the circadian pattern of temperature also exerts a strong effect on sleep – setting the thermostat to drop and hour before my desired bedtime and to rise a half an hour before my wake up time..
So far so good. I have been up writing this blog post at my usual wake up time. And if there are no major spelling mistakes it suggests that I achieved the necessary morning alertness.
For More Information
Regular readers of this blog will know that there is a plethora of information on seasons, sleep, and mood on this site.