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It’s that time of year again! Daylight Saving Time is about to end, which means most of us are about to change our clocks and “fall back” one hour on November 7th. While the fall time change means we gain an extra hour of sleep, it can still affect your body’s routine (and it will be dark outside before the traditional workday is over). Let’s go over four ways you can prepare for the time change and make the adjustment a little easier.

1. Gradually Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

One way to prepare for the time change is to slowly adjust your sleep schedule the week before. This is undoubtedly easier to do for the spring change because you are preparing to wake up earlier, but it’s not always possible to wake up later than usual in preparation for the fall change. However, if your body operates best on a specific amount of sleep (i.e., 8 hours exactly) and your schedule allows it, gradually start going to bed and waking up 10-15 minutes later each day, while still getting the same amount of sleep. This way, your body can begin adapting gently instead of all at once on November 7th, and you won’t disrupt your body’s rhythm by getting more sleep than usual.

Daylight Saving Time Bedtime Routine WhirLocal

2. Follow a Bedtime Routine

If you don’t already have a wind-down routine before going to bed, we recommend starting one! Bedtime routines can greatly help when it comes to Daylight Saving Time because they signal to our bodies that it is time for sleep and often assist in falling asleep more quickly. When Daylight Saving Time interrupts your regular sleep patterns, a bedtime routine can be instrumental in getting your rhythm back on track.

Popular wind-down routine activities include dimming lights around your home, drinking tea, reading a book, or taking a hot bath.

3. Keep a Consistent Schedule

One of the best ways to adjust after Daylight Saving Time ends is by keeping a consistent schedule at the new time. Eat meals at the same clock time as before (i.e., 6:00 PM), even though you will technically be eating an hour later. It may feel odd at first—and if you have kids or pets, they will likely be confused at first—but sticking with a schedule for the first week or two will make all the difference in adapting to the time change.

4. Take Advantage of the Daylight Hours

Since it will suddenly be dark in the evenings after Daylight Saving Time ends, you may want to take advantage of the daylight hours in the morning and middle of the day. Start your morning by going outside or sitting by a bright window, or choose to take a walk outside in the afternoon before the sun goes down. While this may not physically affect the way you adapt to the time change, it can help give you a mood or energy boost before the evening sets in.

Do you like observing Daylight Saving Time, or is it something you could do without? If you’re someone who dreads the time change each season, we hope these four tips can help you adjust a little bit easier.