Tips for Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time
Yesterday you should have set your clocks forward as daylight savings time started at 2 AM. Now as spring approaches, the weather gets warmer and our days get longer. YAY for warmer weather and longer days, but boo for giving up an hour of sleep. While an hour doesn't seem like much time, research has shown that daylight savings time can cause all kinds of havoc from increased drowsiness, trouble sleeping, and a rise in traffic accidents.
The time change impacts everyone differently, but has the biggest impact on children's sleep schedules. Just when you thought you had the kids in a good bedtime routine, the time changes, and 60 minutes undoes all of your hard work, turning your angels into nighttime monsters. In adults, daylight savings time impacts your body kind of like jet lag, as it requires your body to start a new sleep schedule. Some sleep experts say it often results in our internal body clock feeling confused. Think of it like when your computer installs updates, and then has to be re-started before the changes take effect.
Research shows that losing an hour actually has a bigger impact on your body than gaining one in the fall.
Tips to Help Your Body Adjust to Daylight Savings:
- Be active and use that extra time for physical activity
- Avoid increasing your caffeine intake for 3-5 days after the time change
- Light suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, so expose yourself to light early in the day for wakefulness and avoid light, including from electronics in the evening hours
- Increase your Vitamin D intake
- Adjust your children’s bedtime, moving it up in 15 minute increments, four days before the time change
- Go to bed earlier, even though falling asleep may be difficult
- Try eating a healthy snack before bed like almonds, yogurt with berries, an apple with peanut butter, cherries, or whole grain cereal and milk
Does daylight savings time impact your sleep schedule? How do you adjust?