Sunday, November 7th, 2021 is Daylight Saving time. At 2:00 AM clocks will be set back one hour. Even though you know the time change is coming it can still be tough to adjust. Following some simple tips and tricks can help you get ready for the time change, so when the clocks go back an hour you will be ready for it.
Reset Your Circadian Rhythm
Everyone has an internal clock that tells them when to wake up and when to fall asleep. This is known as your circadian rhythm. Often exposure to light is a big factor in maintaining your circadian rhythm. If you control your exposure to light early in the morning and in the evening leading up to Daylight Saving that will help minimize the time change.
Adjust the Lighting
In the week leading up to the time change turn the lights on first thing when you get up in the morning. Open curtains and blinds to see natural sunlight as soon as possible. In the evening close the blinds and curtains to block out twilight. At night turn off any unnecessary lights. If you have lights on a dimmer turn the lighting down. Adjusting your exposure to light throughout the days prior to Daylight Saving will get your internal clock onto the new schedule and help make the transition much more smooth.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
Going into Daylight Saving well rested will make it easy to deal with the time change. In the evenings leading up to adjusting the clocks make it a point to wind down, relax and get a solid night of sleep.
Caffeine and alcohol interfere with a sleep cycle. Avoid or reduce caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda and some teas, as well as wine, liquor and beer. Some foods, like chocolate, may contain caffeine, so double-check before grabbing a snack. Abstaining from alcohol and caffeine as many as six hours before you want to go to bed can be particularly helpful in ensuring you fall asleep shortly after you head touches your pillow.
Limit Screen Time
From smartphones to tablets to televisions, electronic devices can interfere with getting quality shut eye. The light emitted from screens can confuse your circadian rhythm. This exposure to light can make you more alert and awake. Engaging games or television programing can stimulate your mind and also hold off sleep. Steer clear of suspenseful and adrenalin inducing games, music, movies and TV shows, starting a few hours before bedtime.
Read a book or magazine to relax and get ready for bed. Try to find activities that are not digital, but if that is not possible adjust the settings on your devices. If you do all of your reading on your smartphone or a tablet adjust the brightness to the lowest setting possible that still enables you to comfortably read. Listen to a podcast or soothing music to help relax your mind.
Take a Warm Bath or Shower
Warm water is relaxing and can help release tension and anxiety. This can help set the tone for a good night of sleep. Warm water increases your body temperature which is also what happens naturally when you sleep. Increasing your body temperature before bed helps your mind and body make the transition to sleep.
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Gear Up for Daylight Saving
Adjusting your schedule and getting plenty of rest in the week before the clocks are set back can help make the Daylight Saving time transition easier. Following these tips can make the time change manageable and ensure you are well rested.