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Tips To Help You Adjust To Daylight Saving Time Change

Clock Illustration End of Winter time
(kunertus/ThinkStock)

This weekend Daylight Saving Time begins, so that means we move those clocks ahead one hour. That can upset some family’s daily routines. Here are a few tips to try and combat that, especially if you have kids and pets.

“Spring Forward. Fall Back.”

Every spring, we move our clocks ahead one hour. The theory behind moving our clocks to ‘summer time’ is to give us more nature light in the evening. Families get more time with each other outdoors after work/school. There are several work related advantages: farmers and more productive uses of time, people spend more in the evening when there is daylight, and the list goes on-and-on.

TimeAndDate.com adds in this nugget, “DST (Daylight Saving Time) normally adds 1 hour to standard time with the purpose of making better use of daylight and conserving energy.” Conserving energy? That sounds like I might save a few bucks. I’m all for that.

Despite all the positives one might be able to find, making the adjustment can be jarring for some people/families. Having kids and pets can add another degree of difficulty. You’d be surprised how a large household might struggle to adjust to the new daily timetable routine. So… what are some things you can do to try and eliminate some of that stress?


SLOW & STEADY WINS THE RACE:
The biggest suggestion I’ve seen every where I’ve looked is to make the change slowly. Don’t suddenly change the entire family routine (supper, family time, bedtime, etc) to one hour later and let nature takes it course. Hoping that everyone in the family just adjusts after a day or two can spell disaster and grumpiness.

MOVE SUPPER/BEDTIME SLOWLY:
The week leading up to the ‘Spring Forward’, start moving the evening routine a little later into the night. WebMed suggests moving meals and bedtimes 15 minutes later several days before the time shift. As you get closer, keep pushing back the timetable until you have moved everything back a full hour.

LIGHT OF MY LIFE:
When the household starts its day, make sure to create as much light as possible. Whether its natural sunlight or lights int he house, make sure to put a little light on things. Our body produces melatonin to help us sleep. Light is a big clue to the brain to stop producing it allowing us to begin waking up.

SWEAT A LITTLE:
A little exercise after work can help burn off some pent up energy in kids, pets, and more importantly you. This is especially helpful if you can do it to start your day. Just make sure not to do it too close to bedtime. Don’t forget to get those pets up and moving. Fresh air not only helps humans rest at night. It does wonders for pets as well.

CAREFUL WHAT YOU DRINK:
Avoiding caffeine close to bedtime is obvious, but apparently we are supposed to pass on a late night nightcap. I’ve seen several web sites site that alcohol and create unhealthy habits. Well duh, but it’s so tasty.

GO AHEAD AND NAP:
BetterSleep.org says it’s okay to nap. “If you feel sleepy after the change to daylight saving time, take a short nap in the afternoon – no more than 20 minutes long.” That’s news I can get behind, but only 20 minutes? Darn.

DON’T FORGET TO RELAX:
It might sound obvious, but sometimes the most obvious eludes are brain, especially when we have hundreds of thoughts bouncing around in our head. Taking a light time to flush all of those crappy thoughts that stress you out will do wonders to producing a night of relaxed sleep.

KIDS DOWNTIME:
Just as we as adults need to relax, so do the kids. If the kids are bouncing off the walls, and then you suddenly announce that the recreation of the latest ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie is over, don’t expect the wannabe pirates to suddenly go right to sleep. They need down time as well to prepare for a solid night of rest. Rough-housing with a pet will have the same effect as well. Down time is just as important for our four-legged kids.

WHAT SAY YOU?:
Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you and your household to make smooth transition to the time shift this weekend. Do you have a suggestion on what you can do to adjust to Daylight Saving Time? Share it in the comment section below.

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