Fall Time Change Tips and Reminders
Falling back an hour early each fall* might seem harmless enough, but we are never quite prepared for that first Monday rush hour in the dark! Meet the time change head on this year by preparing your household for the inevitable! We’ve got a few tips that can help you “tackle the time change.”
“An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn… We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.” Winston Churchill
You might be asking, “how much difference can one hour make?” Even though falling back tends to be an easier transition than springing forward, it can still throw off your rhythm - especially if you’re an early riser! And, any parent knows, trying to trick a 7-year-old into going to bed at 7 pm is going to take some skills!
Get a running start!
Sleep experts recommend going to bed 15 minutes later than your normal bedtime each day in the days preceding the time change. Moving your sleep schedule forward while the clocks fall back my seem like backward math, but you will actually be adjusting your family’s circadian rhythm to match the new cues for daylight and dark. Be sure to move your other routines forward as well:
- Meal times
- Nap times
- Waking times when possible
Polish your routine
According to the Harvard Medical School, having a regular schedule for going to bed and rising in the morning is beneficial for a healthy lifestyle.
- Dental Routine – The American Dental Association encourages including regular brushing in our schedule – two minutes, twice per day!
- Sleep Routine – Establish a relaxing bedtime routine by:
- Lowering the lights several hours before bedtime.
- Turning off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Keep bedroom areas calming and the temperature cool.
Prepare your home
This is the perfect time to handle several annual and semi-annual tasks at one time:
- Before going to bed on Saturday, be sure to change ALL of the clocks in the house – don’t get fooled because you missed the clock on the microwave!
- Check and replace light bulbs.
- Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
- Check fire extinguishers
- Stock up the medicine cabinet and pantry for cold and flu season
- Make or review your family’s emergency plan
- Prepare a winter emergency kit for your vehicle
- Call for seasonal HVAC service.
Don’t forget the Drive
Be prepared for those first days of rush hour traffic in the dark with these tips from Esurance.
- Prep your car for nighttime driving. It may be common sense, but it bears repeating. Check and clean your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and signal lights. After all, you want to see and be seen by other drivers on the road.
- Know when to use your low beams and high beams. Use your low beams when you need to see about 250 feet in front of you and high beams when your visibility range is 350 to 500 feet. And, of course, dim your high beams when following another driver or approaching an oncoming car.
- Watch out for animals on the road. Deer and other animals are most active at night, particularly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. And since more deer-related collisions occur in November than any other month, be extra careful in the weeks following daylight saving time.
- Get rest. If you drive a lot on a regular basis, avoid the temptation to stay up extra late this Saturday night — even if you do get that bonus hour.
Time to Reset?
If you or your children have been battling a bedtime that is too late, this is the perfect opportunity to set it straight. On Sunday night, reset your schedule painlessly by just going to bed an hour earlier!
While your at it, why not plan ahead for your family’s Dental Care.
Call Aspen Grove Dental Associates at (615) 790-8494, or request an appointment online.