By Chloe Lawrance
Despite arriving twice a year like - well, clockwork - the clocks changing still manages to knock many of us for six. Whether they're springing forwards an hour - which is happening this weekend in the UK - or falling back come autumn, daylight savings can leave us feeling tired, grumpy and struggling to catch up on sleep.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to reset your circadian rhythm and get your sleep back on track. We turned to the experts for their tips for creating a more restful and reliable nighttime routine, plus we've rounded up the best Cowshed products to help you wind down.
What is your circadian rhythm?
'Your circadian rhythm is the natural cycle of physical, mental and behavioural changes that the body goes through in a 24-hour cycle, which includes the sleep-wake cycle, hormone production and metabolism,' says Laura Pradelska, founder of the Stil app. 'This rhythm is primarily controlled by the hypothalamus - a region of the brain that responds to light and dark signals from the environment. That's why we tend to sleep when it's dark and wake up once it's light.'
'When the clocks change, it alters the natural light-dark cycle, which can disrupt the body's internal clock,' she adds. 'When we set the clocks forward in the spring, we lose an hour of sleep and our bodies may take several days or (in my case) even weeks to adjust to the new schedule.'
Ease yourself into it
To counter the impact of losing an hour of sleep this weekend on your circadian rhythm, Pradelska recommends getting ahead and easing yourself into a new bedtime routine.
'Try to gradually adjust your sleep schedule leading up to the clocks changing,' she says. 'This means going to bed and waking up a bit earlier each day until you have adjusted to the new time.'
Rosie Acosta, meditation and mindfulness teacher at Headspace, agrees: 'Don't try to change your routine overnight. Each day, go to bed and wake up just 10 or 20 minutes earlier.'
Work with nature
Your circadian rhythm is naturally attuned to the light-dark cycle, so it makes sense to work with that cycle in order to improve your sleep routine.
'Set your alarm to wake up right before sunrise, even if you go back to sleep,' says Acosta. 'Look outside to see the natural light of day break, and then decide if you still want to go back to bed. Do the same thing at night. Set your alarm for sunset, take a peek outside at the darkening sky and begin your wind-down routine.'
'Expose yourself to natural light during the day as much as possible,' Pradelska adds. 'This helps to regulate your body's production of melatonin, a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness, which is essential for a healthy sleep-wake cycle.'
Stock up on sleep essentials
It sounds obvious, but creating relaxing bedtime rituals really is an essential part of getting your sleep routine back on track. Set aside the blue light of your devices, run a bath or spend some time reading a book. As Pradelska explains, these rituals signal to your body that it's time to sleep. Look to our Sleep range to help make these rituals special.
Discover the nine-piece Sleep Ritual Hamper, which includes skincare, home fragrance, and bath and body heroes. There's also the Rejuvenate Night Cream to replenish skin, the Sleep Bath Oil to enhance your evening soak, the Restore Diffuser to help relieve fatigue, and much more. Notes of Melissa and Lemon Myrtle essential oils throughout will help you drift off and wake up feeling rested.
Or try the Essential Sleep Set. This trio combines the Sleep Candle and Sleep Calming Pillow Mist to help scent your space ready for slumber, alongside the calming Sleep Bath Salts to help relieve muscle tension.
Shop the full Cowshed Sleep range to start building better bedtime rituals.