How to adjust to the end of Daylight Saving TimeHow you can benefit from prepping yourself for this upcoming time change
Many of us are looking forward to when the clocks "fall back" on Sunday, and we get that extra hour of sleep. But even though it can be a tougher adjustment to "spring forward" (after all, that's when we lose an hour, and may have trouble getting up in the morning) experts say there are a few situations in which you can benefit from prepping yourself for this upcoming time change.
You're already dealing with sleep problems
Time changes in either direction can aggravate existing sleep issues, says William Kohler, M.D., a Florida-based sleep specialist and spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. So while you may be tempted to stay out late and sleep in the next day (after all, you've got that extra hour coming your way), he says this is a time of year that it's especially important to practice good sleep hygiene, and that means sticking to a routine, waking up and going to bed around the same time each day.
If you're the type that has trouble staying asleep, extra brightness in the morning may interfere with getting enough snooze time. Invest in a set of room-darkening shades, advises Kohler, but make sure to open them up as soon as you're awake: A.M. sunlight resets your biological clock and can actually make falling asleep at the end of the day easier.
You're a parent
You know how your kid wakes up at the crack of dawn, no matter how late Mommy and Daddy were out the night before? Well, turning the clocks back means they might wake up even earlier, says Judith Owens, M.D., a sleep medicine expert at Children's National Medical Center. Like in adults, light helps regulate kids' body clocks, she explains. To keep little ones up long enough at night and asleep late enough in the morning, make sure they get natural light exposure in the evenings and that their bedrooms are dark at night. All daytime routines (meals, bath time) help keep them on schedule, so don't be tempted to serve dinner earlier just because it's dark outside, she advises. Keeping evening activities consistent can help you avoid time-change troubles.
You get the winter blues
The end of Daylight Saving Time can actually be good for your mood, says psychologist Stephen Josephson, Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College. You may not enjoy leaving the office when it's already dark out, but biologically, morning light actually boosts your mood the most. So take advantage of an earlier sunrise, and leave your blinds open at night, he recommends. If that leads to sleep troubles, keep the shades shut while you sleep but open them first thing, and then get outside (and exercising) as early as you can.
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- How to fake a good night's sleep
- 6 things your sleep says about your health
- 5 ways your healthy diet is making you tired
- Bing: Why do we have daylight saving time?
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