Does anyone else hate when the sun sets by 5pm? Adjusting is always key to making that first week of daylight savings time easier on yourself and your home. Read on for some of our tips on how to best adjust with the time change.
For Yourself and Your Family
Get Moving in the Morning
When you wake up, expose yourself to sunlight right away. The sunlight will help reset your internal rhythms rather than staying in your dark bedroom. Even better solutions are to go outside for a quick walk or run to get your heart rate up and adjusted to the new time. (See a list for some of the great gyms here in Alexandria!)
Powering Down at Night
If you find yourself having a tough time falling asleep this week, consider taking extra steps to reduce electronic use and screen time in the evenings. You can dim lights on phones, tablets and other electronics as well as using night shift mode on iPhones. The less exposure to blue light is generally better for falling asleep, especially when your body is adjusting!
Don’t Lay in Bed if you Can’t Fall Asleep
Tossing and turning until you force yourself to fall asleep likely won’t help you fall asleep. You’re much better off reading a book, listening to music, or listening to a podcast for 20 minutes to wind down. Plus you can always reach out if you need some good podcast suggestions!
Don’t Forget About Your Furry Friends
Dogs especially are such creatures of habit that they tend to remember their times for meals and walks. Big or dramatic shifts for things like this in pets can definitely stress them out. Be sure to slowly transition them to the new times so that they can settle into a new routine. Plus treats are often welcomed to bribe them. Why not explore one of the great dog parks close by?
Be Alert When Driving
Last week it may have been light out when you left for the grocery store at 5:30, but this week it’s pitch black. Like all things, it’s much tougher to see when it’s dark out. Make sure as you’re adjusting in the first few weeks after the time change to pay extra attention to pedestrians when driving and road signs you might be used to seeing more clearly.
Eat Snacks While You Work
Like everything else, our bodies take time to adjust. If you typically eat lunch at 12:30 in the afternoon, then you can probably count on hearing your stomach growl at 11:30 in the morning those first few weeks. Eat some light snacks so you don’t end up eating lunch way earlier than you usual. The same goes if you’re an early dinner eater as well, if you typically eat dinner early at around 5:30, chances are you’ll probably be getting hungry around 4 pm before you wrap up work for the day.
For Your Home
Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors
As silly as it sounds, this has become a ritual for most and a twice a year reminder to check on these important devices. You’d much rather check and change the battery now then have it beep at you in the middle of the night!
Like we do in the spring for spring cleaning, the middle point of fall is a great time to take care of the cleaning tasks around the house you may have neglected over the summer and early fall months. Plus with the Redskins unwatchable and baseball season now over, you’ve got a lot more free time on your Sunday afternoons!
While most of the clocks we use these days change on their own, the many battery-operated ones still need to be changed manually. For instance, you’d hate to have your coffee not be ready when you wake up cause you didn’t change the clock on your coffee machine. Other clocks on things like your oven, microwave, the car can be changed easily as well, but can really throw off your day if they’re incorrect.
Restock Your Emergency Kit
Emergency kits in our cars and homes are typically not thought about until we truly need them in the case of an accident or severe weather. However with winter fast approaching and now is a good time to make sure your safety kit is current. Some of the most important items include water, a first aid kit, batteries, and non-perishable food items. Check out this great extensive list from the Department of Homeland Security.