The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and colorful buds are starting to pop from the ground. So why, when the rest of the world is so refreshed, aren’t you? For some people, spring can be a tough time of year to get a restful night’s sleep.
But it doesn’t have to be. Below, check out some reasons that you might be tossing and turning during this time of year—and what you can do about it.
How to Rest Easy: Allergies can crop up any time of year, but pollen tends to be at its peak in the spring. And allergies are not just annoying: That stuffy nose and itchy throat can take a toll on your sleep, and even raise your risk for obstructive sleep apnea. To sleep better, limit allergens in your bedroom by banishing pets, dusting and vacuuming as often as possible, and washing your bedding weekly in hot water. Keeping windows closed and running the air conditioning instead can also help keep pollen at bay. Still sneezing? Take a shower before bed to rinse off any pollen before you tuck yourself under the sheets.
How to Rest Easy: Remember how hard it was to drag yourself out of bed on dark winter mornings? Now the opposite may be true: The sun may be rising before you want to. Light suppresses your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy when the sun sets. So when the sun shines before your alarm, it can cause you to wake up too early. To sleep on your own schedule, rather than the sun’s, consider investing in blackout curtains or a sleep mask.
How to Rest Easy: Losing an hour is never fun, but with a few tweaks to your routine, you can make the yearly transition as painless as possible. Start by shifting your bedtime back about 10 to 15 minutes per night for a few nights before the clocks change, and avoid artificial light in the hour before turning in. Then, when you wake up in the morning, try to get as much exposure to early morning sunlight as possible to help reset your internal clock.
How to Rest Easy: Spring rain may be a soothing sound that helps you nod off, but if noisy birds outside your bedroom window are waking you up at the wee hours, it’s time to take action. Relocating their nest may not be an option, so instead focus on drowning out their chatter with a noise conditioner or a set of earplugs.