Getting Ready for Daylight Saving Time
American clocks go ahead one hour this weekend. In Europe, we will have to wait till end of March to do so. The transition used to occur on the same day on both sides of the Atlantic. That is, until last year.
Every year, I always run into the same problem: how to help my kids cope with the time change while I go through the first week of April feeling like a zombie myself. Sure, it’s only an hour difference – but it can create havoc in your daily routine if you don’t take care. It can, for example, cause sleeplessness at night and tiredness during the day.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) gives the following tips to help you and your biological clock adjust to DST:
– Start adjusting your schedule already a few days before the scheduled DST switch. This would mean eating dinner and going to bed an hour earlier.
– During the day of DST switch, take care when performing attention-critical tasks such as operating machinery and driving.
– Avoid napping close to bedtime; avoid caffeine in the morning and alcohol at night.
– Minimize strenuous physical activities a day or two after the time switch. A relaxed schedule and light physical exercise are recommended.
– Have proper meals and sufficient liquids.
What about your baby? Well, take a look at Mama2Bean`s post on this.
The time it takes to adjust to time change varies from person to person and can last up to 2 weeks. According to Dr. Ron Kramer of AASM, those who would be more likely to suffer from restless nights during DST switch are the ‘night-owl’ type people (and I’m one of them). Those who are ‘morning types’ will have more problems during time shift to standard time in autumn, which is scheduled in the US on Nov. 2 this year.