If you’re struggling with the recent time change, try these tips that can work for both children and adults!
The main reason why people find Daylight Saving to be a challenge is because it throws off the body’s circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the natural 24 hour fluctuations our body follows. Digestion, hormones, body temperature, mood, metabolic rate and sleep are all influenced by this internal clock that runs just slightly over 24 hours. The sun, along with other cues such as meals, play time and temperature changes helps to “reset” them everyday.
What you can do to help get sleep back on track after DST:
1. Be Consistent – My number one sleep tip for everyone! Bedtime, wake up and naps (if relevant) should all happen every day at the same time. This helps to regulate our body’s circadian rhythms or internal clock. Babies and small children also benefit from a consistent bedtime and nap routine as well as sleep environment. A warm bath/shower, gentle massage, reading and meditation are all great to wind us down for bedtime.
2. Blackout Shades – These are a MUST for children who go to bed before it gets dark outside when Daylight Saving Time begins. Darkness helps release the hormone melatonin which is what helps us sleep. Start dimming the lights around dinnertime for kids. If a night light is needed, make sure it’s amber colored vs. white. Adults should also be sleeping in a pitch black room!
3. Let the Light In – Make sure to let the sunlight in when you wake up! Especially if you’re using black out shades, you want to open the blinds to help let in the natural light. Again, sunlight and darkness help reset our circadian rhythms so it’s important for children to get outside and enjoy lots of sunlight during the day, especially in the AM. Great for adults too, but if not possible try and work by a window where you can benefit from the natural light.
4. No Screen Time Before Bed – Screens shouldn’t be used for at least an hour before bedtime for children and a half hour for adults. Put the phones away, ideally in another room, and if you have a digital bedside clock you should turn it away from your face.
5. White Noise and Keep Cool – White noise helps to block out other household sounds and can mimic the sound of the womb for babies and children. Many adults can also benefit from white noise (I use a fan), especially if their partner snores! Also remember to keep the room cool at night. I recommend around 68 degrees as the optimal temperature.
Practicing good sleep hygiene and a consistent sleep environment will help you get back on track after DST. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to purchase one of our packages.