Family Sleep Tips to Help Adjust to Daylight Savings Time

This weekend brings Daylight Saving Time changes to our little corner of the world.  We "spring forward" our clocks and essentially "lose" an hour over the next few days.  As we make our annual to-do list of Daylight Saving Time activities--setting forward our clocks, changing smoke detector batteries, scheduling heating/cooling checkups, etc.--it is time to reset our sleep clocks as well.  As a mother of three, daylight saving time has always required a little time, patience, and a few adjustments to return our family to a manageable sleep cycle during time changes.  We have a few sleep tips from Sleep Number to share with you today to help you prepare yourself and your family for the upcoming Daylight Saving Time change!

15 more minutes.  According to a new national sleep survey from Sleep Number, over half of the respondents do not feel they are getting enough sleep to be at their best. Losing a sudden hour of sleep to DST beginning, makes sleep loss even more notable. To make the time adjustment easier for your family; start going to bed 15 minutes earlier than the previous night in the days leading up to the time change.  While it's best to do this for 3-4 days before Daylight Savings Time changes--even a couple of days will help the body adjust to the difference.

Live in the future. On Saturday, before the DST change, practice your usual schedule as if it's already an hour ahead. For example, set your alarms according to the new time change to practice for Monday morning, drink your last cup of coffee an hour earlier, and prepare for bed according to the new time.  We are creatures of habit--and practicing our schedules makes it easier for our bodies to adapt to the time changes.  Practicing the new time schedule was especially helpful to adjusting our sleep patterns when the girls were younger!

Put down the screens. Survey results indicate that people who use devices in bed are more likely to feel they don’t get enough sleep (51 percent). Try making a screen-free zone about an hour before bedtime.  Turning away from the screens gives the eyes and mind time to relax before going to bed--and it allows the sleep hormone, melatonin, time to trigger sleepiness. While people in the Western part of the U.S. are show 66 percent of survey respondents bringing devices to bed; my Midwest family struggles with this issue as well.  We may try to begin breaking the screens-in-bed habit this weekend with our other Daylight Saving Time changes!

Hopefully, these tips will help your family transition smoothly to the sleep pattern changes of Daylight Saving Time.  Be patient as your family adjusts to Daylight Saving Time changesYour family's sleep patterns will settle into a normal routine soon enough!

Improving my sleep habits was one of my New Years' goals this year.  Fifty-eight percent of people wish they knew more about how to improve the quality of their sleep, yet only 16 percent monitor their sleep.  Low sleep tracking is surprising since 41 percent track exercise and 43 percent track diet.  Studies show that women are more likely to focus on improving their sleep than men. Sleep Number’s SleepIQ technology offers a simple solution to those who want to know better sleep. 

Disclosure:  We worked with Sleep Number in creating this post.   You can learn more Daylight Saving Time facts and sleep tips from the Sleep Number website.


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