We live for spending quality time together outdoors, exploring the beauty that is Mother Nature. It starts to get harder when it gets dark so early, after Daylight Savings Time (DST), to really get in some full adventures. Plus, when the weather is not so nice, it can make us opt to stay inside a little more.
When we are home in Rain(Van)-couver, it sure can rain a lot. But when March comes, we start to get really excited. March means spring break with the kids is close by, that summer is around the corner, and that there will be more beautiful days ahead to go hiking. It also means that when we are out in nature, it is especially green and lush, and Mother Nature really puts on a show.
With spring and summer just around the corner, we find that Daylight Saving Time (DST) initially makes it a little harder to have that extra spring in our step. More hours of daylight means more fun and adventure to be had outdoors, but how are you able to enjoy that when you are not getting the right amount of quality sleep? The same happens when you cross time zones. With having to make sure our kids are well-adjusted to the time change too, it can really be a battle against our bodies for at least a few days. Don’t let your body take that one-way ticket to exhaustion.
The shift in hours can really impact the melatonin production of our bodies. We feel like we have tried everything imaginable to combat what we call having the “sleep blues,” and that impacts our health on so many levels. To make sure we are always at our best, we try to combat time change and keep a healthy sleep routine, at home or through changing time zones, with the following tips and tricks:
● Change your family’s bedtime. Start to prepare for the time change by getting to bed a little earlier each night a few days before the time change. For a bigger time change, you may want to change bedtime by 15 minutes in the right direction every few days leading up to the big change.
● Start a bedtime routine. Bedtime routines are not just for kids! We love to dim the lights as it gets closer to bedtime. It helps signal to your body that it is time to rest. The darkness will send signals to the brain to produce the melatonin, and will start preparing your body for sleep. Melatonin will continue to be produced until the sun comes up, when the light sends signals to the brain to stop.
● Use ear plugs and an eye mask to block out any light or noise that could interrupt your sleep. (Note: We do not use ear plugs when the kids are around.) Turn off any devices that will put your brain into overstimulation – turn off the TV, tablet, and phone. Do not let yourself “sleep in”. (If you get up early, you’ll be better able to fall asleep when you need to the next evening.) Get a good night’s sleep before the big time change. It will leave you better able to cope than if you try to do it on a few hours of sleep.
● When you wake up in the morning, get into that sunlight as soon as you can. The sunlight helps your body to synchronize to the new time and reset your inner clock. If traveling, try for a flight that will arrive in daylight. Chances are you will look outside and be excited to start your exploring! Avoid drinks with high caffeine such as coffee, pop and energy drinks. The artificial stimulants can affect your ability to get some good Z’s. Only consume water; it is especially important to drink a lot of water on an airplane so you do not become dehydrated, leading to jetlag. Get some exercise and you will feel better for it. Even an easy workout to get your body moving will leave you feeling more awake and refreshed.
● Try Natrol Melatonin and Kids Melatonin supplements. It helps people to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Natrol is also the #1 Melatonin brand in America. The gummies are what we have been using when we occasionally have trouble sleeping, and love that they are non-GMO, have a great strawberry taste and have no artificial flavours, colors, sweeteners or preservatives.
Luckily, just because the time has changed, it does not mean that you must lose a day (or more) because of it. By using a variety of the suggestions above, you will set yourself up for a smooth time change transition. The best way to combat time change is to provide your body with the regimen needed to help sort out the changes. We find that it is so important to prepare for both small and big time changes, and that being ready for it can really help that adjustment.
What are some of your go-to ways to combat time change during Daylight Savings Time (DST)?
This post is sponsored by NATROL, but the content and opinions expressed here are our own. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.