As the seasons change, daylight saving time comes to an end, which means everyone finally gets that extra hour of sleep they’ve been looking forward to. The time-change also comes with lifestyle changes as well, such as having to readjust the kids’ school night sleep schedules, and adjusting to arriving home from work after sunset. This blog is your guide to making the transition out of daylight saving time as smooth as possible, with some tips and tricks to get you started.
Blueprint for Bedtime
While you may need to focus more on getting your kids to bed on time, don’t forget that you need to give your own body time to adjust to the time change. Start adjusting the sleep schedules of everybody in the house (including yourself!) by increments of 15 minutes each day for several days before the official time change. It’s a lot easier to convince your little ones to hit the hay before the sun goes down when the whole family is involved, making this transition easier for everyone.
To get ready for your new bedtime, set up an evening ritual that works for you. Dim the lights. Read a book. Play some soothing music. Turn on some ambient noise like a soft fan. A dark, quiet, and cool bedroom makes it easy to fall asleep.
It’s important to make a deal with yourself that you’ll still be getting a full night of sleep every night, even if the days are shorter. While this does mean that you’ll be going to bed earlier than you’re used to, it also means that you’ll be able to get out of bed the following morning feeling well-rested and ready for the day.
Sleep More Soundly
To make sure your kids get in bed and stay in bed until morning, it’s important for them to be active during the day. It’s best to limit their screen time, as the blue light from devices can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Lead by example, and encourage the kids to spend time outdoors by going outside and joining them! Chase them around your backyard while you get your mind off work and other stresses. Remind yourself of the better lifestyle and sleep you’re working toward, and get a good workout while also spending quality time with family. As an added benefit, spending time in the sun regularly (and safely!) serves as a natural mood enhancer.
Make sure you haven’t had any meals or snacks for two hours prior to bedtime, and you’ll have a better chance of staying asleep through the night. It’s important to try and eat a meal as soon possible when you get home from work to avoid late-night snacking. A family dinner is another chance to catch up on each other’s day, and as a bonus, the whole family will ultimately have a better night’s rest.
It also helps to prepare ahead just in case you get home from work a little later than you’d like. Spend part of your weekend putting together enough main and side portions to build a variety of meals throughout the week. This will help keep your family from getting bored from the same chicken and rice every night, and also make your weeknights easier and more healthy.
Regarding your weekend, keep this in mind—it’s your weekend, so spend it how you see fit! Enjoy your Saturday morning watching your child’s soccer game, or teach yourself a new skill such as painting. Experiencing a full day of activities and hobbies will help keep you healthy and active, and ultimately lead to a better night’s sleep. For more ways to fill your weekend, be sure to ‘like’ WCI Tampa on Facebook.