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How to Adjust Your Sleep Habits for Spring

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Now that the weather's getting warmer and those longer spring days are keeping you outdoors, you might find that it's harder to fall asleep at night.  Daylight saving time and allergy season might be partially to blame for a lack of sleep. But freshening up your sleep space and making small adjustments to your sleep routine could be what it takes to get that much-needed shuteye.

Here are some easy ways to adjust your sleep habits for spring:

1. Turn Down the Temperature

You're probably not running the heat at night anymore, but you still need to pay attention to the thermostat to make sure it's keeping you comfortable.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Since your body temperature drops naturally when you go to sleep, keeping your room cool can actually help you fall asleep faster.

2. Time Your Allergy Medication

Some allergy medications make you drowsy, which means taking them too late at night could leave you feeling groggy and tired the next morning. If you're taking allergy medication later in the evening, make sure you do it shortly after dinner so the medication has time to kick in. Time your dosage schedule so you aren't taking anything that will make you drowsy past 10 p.m.

3. Set an Alarm for Bedtime

If you get anxious about not being able to fall asleep when you want to, start setting an alarm for bedtime to go off about an hour before you want to fall asleep. This can be your prompt to start winding down, so you can train yourself to stick to a healthier — and more consistent — sleep schedule. Use your smartphone or a regular alarm clock to get into the habit of getting to bed earlier so you can restart your natural clock to adjust for the season.

4. Soak Up Some Sun for Breakfast

Spring gives you more excuses to be outside, so make the most of it by getting some sun earlier in the morning. Getting exposure to sunlight before breakfast can help you wake up naturally so that you fall asleep readily a few hours after sundown. If you have a hard time winding down, now that the  days are getting longer, make sure to dim the lights and block out all sunlight as it gets closer to bedtime.

5. Lighten Up Your Meals

Warmer weather calls for eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, and lighter fare. Make sure your last meal of the day is on the lighter side, so poor digestion and bloating don't get in the way of a good night's rest. Eating a dinner of salads with chicken or fish and steering clear of fried foods and foods that take longer to digest can help you sleep better throughout the warmer season.

If spring is taking its toll on your sleep schedule, making a few simple adjustments can help you clock in more quality sleep this season. From changing the room temperature to lightening up your evening meals, use these tips to get the sleep you need all season long.

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