Spring Forward Well Rested
After rock climbing with my husband around the country, we were called to Highlands by the vertical and timeless granite domes.
The nature of the tall rock and trees make an interesting study on light, which reveals itself differently than light on a horizontal coast. The Cherokee called this area “Nantahala” (“Land of the Noonday Sun” or “The Place Where the Sunlight Looks Beautiful Down Through the Trees”).
Within the body bio-sensors track the visible light of the sun, and its position relative to the earth through the seasons. Humans coordinate the day’s activities, mealtimes, growing seasons, and sleep cycles on this ingrained inner observation of the outer world.
We’re all too familiar with the move to Daylight Saving Time in March. I’ve also heard this spring forward referred to as “Losing an Hour.” For my family, we are absolutely happy for the longer evening light, and stretch out dinners and playtime to maximize our waking time together.
But at what cost?
Our body clocks are intrinsically tied to light. When we spring forward and lose that hour, we may need to cope with a feeling of deprivation, especially if we tend to have a deficit of good sleep ongoing. We live in a world that stimulates our interests through distraction, and technologies which mask our body’s signal for rest. Healthy sleep is essential and new studies show catching up on lost sleep is nearly impossible.
Here are my tips to roll with the time change:
– Give yourself enough time for eight hours of sleep;
– Eat lighter and earlier for good digestion;
– Don’t take naps longer than 20-30 minutes;
– Limit caffeine after lunch;
– Create a relaxing night time routine (soak in the bath, reading books, candles)
– Meditation practice, sit, breathe and observe quietly
While the shift to Daylight Savings Time is a welcome sign of spring, it may take awareness to adjust to that lost hour. Honoring our unique rhythm with nature is a form of self-respect and assists us in moving through life with integrative balance.
by Ashby Underwood-Garner LMBT, Yoga Highlands, Certified Rolf Practitioner and Yoga Therapist