Daylight Savings Myths Debunked!
More daylight? Yes, please! Having to help the family through the time change? Not as exciting. Missing out on an hour of sleep? Oh no!
Don't worry. We have the truth about surviving Daylight Savings from World Sleep Expert and Oxford Professor of Sleep Medicine Colin Espie, co-founder of digital health company Big Health, makers of Sleepio. Read on to make the transition to more sunshine a little easier for everyone.
Springing Forward: 5 Daylight Savings Insights to Help You Adjust
Make sure to get up at the same time after the clocks spring forward. Maintaining a routine is key even if you and your children feel a bit more tired for the first few days.
Light is an important regulator of our body clock, so be sure to seek out exposure to morning light whenever possible to help you adjust naturally. Open the shades or even step outside for a minute or two to help your body adjust.
Avoid bright lights (like your TV and screens) for at least an hour before bed for you and your children. Although this may seem difficult, bear in mind that bright light inhibits the production of melatonin, an important hormone that starts the sleep process and going without sleep is even more difficult than skipping that one last check of your email or that one last Elmo video before bed.
While the time change will make the mornings slightly darker, you can look forward to brighter evenings so take advantage. Let the kids be active outdoors right up until bedtime to ensure they are tired out and fall asleep quickly.
Lastly, don’t fret. Your body will naturally adjust to the one hour time change within a few days and your children will adjust too!
Three Daylight Savings Sleep Myths Debunked
Myth: “I should get up an hour earlier to try to adapt to the time change.”
Reality: Get up at the same time after the clocks spring forward and get your kids up at the same time too. Maintaining a routine is key, even if you feel a bit more tired for the first few days following the time change. It will pass quickly and you and your kids will be back on track quickly if you stick to your regular routine at the regular times.
Myth: “I shouldn't turn the lights off too early before I go to sleep in order to maintain my schedule.”
Reality: In general, avoid bright lights, including those from screens, for at least an hour before bed. These lights will inhibit the sleep process. Reading by a lamp is fine!
Myth: “I should stay in bed for as long as possible to try to catch up on the ‘lost hour.'”
Reality: Push yourself to get out of bed and start your day! Keeping your regular schedule will help you adjust more quickly and getting out of bed at the same time, especially with exposure to natural light, will help your body adapt in no time.
Good luck, parents! You can do this.