A Proactive Approach to Daylight Savings
Daylight savings begins this weekend in New Zealand. So the clocks jump forward an hour on Sunday morning, robbing us of one precious hour in the day. This may seem minuscule but it actually has a big impact on the circadian rhythms of adults and children, affecting us for days or even weeks. Think tired, grumpy and lacking in concentration!
What's a circadian rhythm?
Humans and other mammals are guided by circadian rhythms, which are 24-hour cycles. This cycle is influence by outside things like light and dark. Our brains receive signals based on our environment which trigger certain hormones, adjust body temperature, and regulate metabolism to keep us alert or wind down for sleep. When we 'lose an hour' all of these things are effected and we have to adjust to the new cycle.
So how can we be proactive about this BEFORE Daylight Savings?
-Get your head around the fact that the people in your house might be a bit tired and grumpy next week. Be patient and be kind to yourself AND them!
-Nurture the immune system this week:
- Add some extra vegetables to the family meals and increase Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits, berries and kiwifruit
- Take a gentle walk, bike ride or jog with the kids a few days this week, this will lift Vitamin D levels
- Give supplements to the kids and adults every day; Magnesium for sleep support, Zinc, Vitamin D and Vitamin C for immunity. We use multivitamins for the kids and adults that include all these things
- Take it easy, dial back on the busy-ness and slow down (yeah I know it's hard but just do it!)
- If you have babies or toddlers, you could start moving their night time bedtime 10 minutes later each day this week (10 minutes tonight, 20 tomorrow etc) helping to gradually change their bedtime so you're still in synch with the clock next week
Then once the clocks have moved forward:
-Be proactive with the new sleep regime
- Have your kids take a warm bath or shower before bed to trigger sleepiness. Add essential oils for an extra boost, lavender contains linalool which triggers sedation and relaxation (umm, yes please!)
- BUY CALMER TODAY, the lavender sleep blend for kids! Dab on wrists, sternum and the back of neck and INHALE (night night, sleep tight!)
- Close the curtains so the room is dark when your child goes into their bedroom. Read the bedtime stories in a dim light.
- If you have My Amazing Brain, do the Good Night, Sleep Tight activity each night on p98-99. ORDER YOUR COPY NOW if you don't have one, it will be prefect for the upcoming school holidays (yes they're nearly here again!)
- Open all the curtains when you wake in the morning. The daylight will trigger the decrease of melatonin (the sleep hormone), helping to get rid of everyone's sleepy feelings and raise alertness levels.
- Continue to nurture the immune system as mentioned above and keep up the walks, bike rides or jogs
You've got this people! A little forethought this week will help your family transition better after Daylight Savings begin and we get closer to the Summer months.
Most importantly, take care of YOURSELF so you've got more in the tank to look after your family.
Helping kids to thrive and shine!
Victoria from Brain Essentials
Victoria Jenkins is a brain-based parent and educator who is helping kids and their parents to thrive and shine. Click here to join the Brain Essentials community today to receive weekly, relevant parenting tips. Scroll down to add your details.