Daylight savings comes to an end every year in the fall. This year it is on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 2:00 am. Whether you agree it should exist or not – it does in many states! Many people do not appreciate this transition because it messes with their own sleep and their children’s sleep. While in theory, the fall change should be easier than in the spring because in the fall we FALL back and gain an hour of sleep. While that sounds wonderful, it still messes with our circadian rhythms. It may also mean that we may have children waking at 5:00 instead of 6:00 a.m. and no parent appreciates that!
In order to prepare for November 5, you can make the adjustment easier if you start preparing for the change 4-5 nights before. The ideal thing to do is to move the start time of the day 15 minutes later, maintain wake windows and then move bedtime 15 minutes later each day so that by the time you reach November 5 you can put your child down at the original time. For example – if bedtime is 7:00, starting November 1 you would put them down at 7:15, next night 7:30, next night 7:45, and then 8:00 on November 4. Then on November 5, you can put them to bed at 7:00 and they should be better adjusted.
Simply keep these goals in mind:
- Hold firm to starting your morning 15 minutes later on the clock each day.
- Maintain your normal wake windows.
- Bedtime should naturally shift about 15 minutes later on the clock each day.
Each person adjusts to these changes in their own way – some hardly notice while others will feel off or groggy. Take notice of how you feel and if needed sneak in a 20-minute nap during the day to get back on track.
Other general guidelines for adults and children:
- Stick to your regular pre-sleep routine
- Keep the bedroom dark
- Keep the home calm with low lights an hour before bedtime
- Avoid exercise, food, caffeine, and alcohol at least two hours before bedtime
- Breathe deeply to help relax the mind and body for sleep
- Essential oils can help calm: lavender, jasmine, chamomile
Protect your sleep so that your entire family gets the rest they need to shine their best self and stay healthy!
If you would like to discuss this transition or any other challenges you are having regarding sleep, please contact me at Kathy@shineeachday.com.