It’s that time of year again--Daylight Saving Time. This coming Sunday, March 13th, remember to “spring forward,” meaning remember to change your clocks FORWARD one hour. Suddenly losing an hour of sleep can be jarring though. To best prepare yourself, start going to bed about 10 minutes earlier each night, if you can, and try to waking up 10 minutes earlier. Put your kids to bed early as well—turn off electronics earlier and start the bedtime routine earlier. Also, get some light exposure first thing in the morning by turning on a lamp right after you wake up. These two changes help your internal clock to reset and you be less affected by the time change.
Also, be sure to drive carefully during the days right after the time change. You aren’t the only one suddenly dealing with sleep loss. The study, "Spring Forward at your Own Risk: Daylight Savings Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes" by Austin C. Smith at the University of Colorado Boulder, reported a 17% increase of fatal MVAs in the first six days of daylight saving time. It states daylight saving time increases the risk of these crashes by disrupting sleep schedules and making sunrise occur later in the morning. This causes motorists to be drowsier normal and as dangerous as distracted or, in some cases, impaired drivers. So prepare yourself a bit for the time change and make sure you and your babies and family are not sleep deprived!