It happens literally every year, and yet still manages to sneak up on us, upend our schedules and wreak havoc on our sleep. If you have kids and pets, you know the ripple effects are even worse (and longer-lasting). Daylight Saving Time — the annual event we universally dread and try to forget — happens on Sunday, March 14. Losing an hour of sleep after the year we’ve all collectively had just seems unfair, doesn’t it?
Pro tip: The trick to remembering whether we gain or lose an hour of sleep? We spring forward — aka lose an hour — but fall back — aka gain a glorious 60 minutes of sleep according to the clock. (As we know, pets and kids don’t always honor that…)
Even the most spontaneous free spirit among us is still a creature of habit, at least when it comes to our circadian rhythms. Our sleep-wake cycle is a bit of a diva, preferring that we keep our bedtimes and wakeups the same every day, thank you very much! To function optimally (without guzzling coffee all day or feeling like you’re going to face-plant during your 2 p.m. Zoom), you need to learn how to hack your circadian rhythm and be ready to conquer the time change once and for all.
This year, instead of letting Daylight Saving Time get the best of us, let’s learn how to not only survive the time change but come out the other side thriving.
Here are some tips so that everyone in your family can rest more easily.
1. Start now.
We have until March 14 to get ahead of Daylight Saving Time, so let’s use that time wisely. Every night, start adjusting bedtime and wake time for littles ones and grown-ups by 15 minutes. Shifting schedules in small amounts feels more manageable than suddenly having to adjust them by an hour. As the days grow longer, these small shifts won’t make your schedule feel too different.
You can also start to shift habits and milestones in your evening, like when you eat dinner, when you turn off your phone (we all should be doing that!) and what time you start to prep for bed.
Fur babies also feel the impact of time change, especially when human wake-ups mean mealtime. Getting on a new schedule sooner could help their circadian rhythms, so you can sleep until your alarm without getting interrupted by your pet(s).
Bonus: Earlier bedtimes for kids could mean an extra 15 minutes of “me time.”
2. Then rip the bandage off.
If you’re reading this on March 15 or later, you can still take that slow and steady approach to adjusting your sleep schedule, if you have the flexibility. If your work, school and/or child-care routines won’t allow for a gradual shift, we feel you! In that case, it’s time to rip off the bandage and dive right into time change.
One of the simplest and best ways to do that? Open the blinds or the curtains and let in the light every single morning! Exposure to natural light throughout the day is an important way our bodies attune our circadian rhythm. Conversely, the light emitted by your phone, tablet and laptop can confuse your inner clock, so put them away at least an hour before you hit the hay.
This might make for a rough couple of days, but it’ll get your schedule lined up with the “new normal.”
3. Naps aren’t (always) the answer.
For grown-ups, skipping a nap can be both the easiest and the hardest thing you do all day. We can’t exactly tell our bosses we need a siesta (though how awesome would that be!), but some days it feels like we truly might doze off in the middle of the KPI update.
Giving in to midday fatigue and sleeping for a couple of hours sounds awesome, but that’s not an option for most adults — and can be counterproductive.
If your young kids are still napping, let them nap but adjust the timing along with bedtime. Try to let them sleep as much as they usually do. The exception? If you have teens, encourage them to resist lengthy naps — and you should do the same. The optimal length of a nap (that won’t keep you up tonight) is 30 minutes or less.
4. Consider melatonin.
Pop quiz: Guess which hormone’s timed release impacts sleep and our circadian rhythm? Melatonin, which happens to be the starring ingredient in our Hello Dreams™ sleep strips. These melt-away strips are also infused with our proprietary Calm DownTM herbal blend. Paired with Good Morning SunshineTM coffee + adaptogens, these two products are designed to help you power your day and better handle all that life throws your way with fewer jitters, then wind down as you quiet your mind and body for restorative rest.*
The pineal gland, buried deep in our brains, is tasked with producing melatonin and releasing it in cadence with the circadian rhythm. Daylight signals to the body to halt production to keep us awake, while darkness tells the pineal gland it’s time to let loose with the melatonin again, making us sleepy. However, life happens — and everything from aging to lifestyle to work schedules (burning the midnight oil as well as shift work) will naturally have an impact.
We designed the aptly named Hello DreamsTM sleep strips — because we know that getting proper rest shouldn’t take work. Simply pop one in your mouth five to 10 minutes before you head to bed (or, keep them on your nightstand and take one as soon as you climb under the covers). Then let the strip melt on your tongue… and let your day melt away.
With these tips, Daylight Saving Time won’t get the best of you in 2021! Once you’ve tried Hello Dreams and Good Morning Sunshine, reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram with your best tips for good mornings and sweet dreams!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.