Mark your calendars – on Sunday, March 8th our clocks spring ahead! The change of one hour can ultimately impact our chronobiological rhythms that influence sleep quality and duration. Light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm, which can subsequently impact biological processes like hormone production and cell regeneration. Included below are tips to minimize the impacts of daylight savings time!
BEFORE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS: Consider going to bed 10 to 15-minutes early in the days preceding daylight savings. This applies to nap schedules whether it be for adults or the little ones in your family. Ample rest and mindful sleeping schedules will smooth the transition into March 8th. Following pre-established routines around bedtime will help your body slow down and succumb to the zzz’s. Create a sleeping space that is dark and cool for optimal sleep support. If you have dimmers in your living space, consider lowering the light to better mirror the natural phenomenon occurring outside. We recognize that each person is unique and will experience daylight savings in varying capacities. Be mindful and patient with this process and honour what feels best for your family.
AFTER DAYLIGHT SAVINGS: The light emitted by the sun shifts from blue wavelengths to red wavelengths every evening at twilight. This naturally signals to our bodies that it is time to release melatonin and succumb to sleep. The screens on our mobile devices and laptops emit blue wavelengths which confuse our bodies into thinking they need to be in a wakeful, alert state. It is not always practical to remove ourselves from blue light sources and in such cases we recommend blue-light filters or applications to minimize the biological impact that our body’s experience. When the morning comes around, consider going for a short walk or eating breakfast outside to help smooth the transition.
Remember that daylight savings is a short, transitional period. Enjoy the extra Vitamin D and be sure to keep an eye out for Jupiter and Saturn in the early morning hours!