Daylight savings time has ended and most people dread that it will be dark early in the evening. For some people they need time to adjust to standard time but it is actually more in sync with our natural body clock. According to Erin Flynn-Evans, a circadian psychologist who leads a sleep research lab says, "Standard time is best aligned with human circadian biology as it enables most people to sleep better at night and feel more alert during the day."
This is the perfect time to get your fitness routine together. Since there is extra light in the morning, you can knock out your workout earlier in the day. Here are a few tips on how to optimize your schedule and get better sleep too!
Since there is less light in the evening your body will be ready for bed an hour earlier than normal. When it is dark your brain releases the hormone, melatonin, to help ease you to sleep. Use this as an advantage by making sleep a priority and head to bed sooner. When you are well-rested you will get more out of your workout. Exercising will also improve your sleep quality, so it is a win-win.
Now that the darkness moves in earlier in the evening, try moving your exercise routine to the morning. This way you can still get your workout in and you will be able to head to bed sooner. If you are stuck in your regularly scheduled routine, try a few of these habits to help your new regimen stick:
- Get ready the night before- The less you have to do in the morning, the easier it will be.
- Take baby steps- Set a three-day goal to start and add more when you’re ready.
- Do it at home- Removing the extra barriers of going to the gym or just outside may make the transition to morning workouts easier.
- Think of exercise like a scheduled appointment- You wouldn’t snooze your way through a doctor’s appointment, so treat your workout the same way to make sure you show up.
Help motivate yourself by soaking up some bright sunlight first thing in the morning. If you have gotten good restorative sleep, use that morning energy towards a high-intensity cardio workout.
Before going to bed try doing some restful and low-impact activities. When the evenings are dark, self care exercises like yoga and meditation can help you wind down and sleep better.
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