It’s almost time to spring forward. Is your body ready?
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - This weekend, standard time comes to an end in most parts of the United States, including Augusta.
You’ll lose an hour of sleep for one night but it’ll feel like you have more daylight in the evening – even though the actual amount of sunlight per day doesn’t change.
The transition to daylight saving time is official at 2 a.m. local time Sunday.
A poll conducted in October 2021 found most people in the United States want to avoid switching between daylight saving and standard time, though there is no consensus behind which should be used all year.
The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found only 25% of those questioned said they preferred to switch back and forth between standard and daylight saving time. Forty-three percent said they would like to see standard time used during the entire year. Thirty-two percent said they would prefer that daylight saving time be used all year.
In the short term, that hour more or hour less of sleep may not affect the average adult much after a few days.
But if you’re a parent, you’ll notice it a lot because babies don’t pay attention to the clock but more to their internal clock, which is controlled by light exposure.
This is something local mom Paige Wimmer has experienced firsthand as a mother of three kids under age 4.
Getting three children on the same routine – which is then thrown off by light and times – complicates matters from dinner to work and everything in between.
Now she’s a certified infant and toddler sleep consultant.
“Infants and toddlers, especially thrive on routines,” she said.
For her, as soon as her children nail a schedule, it’s time to swap the clocks.
“Most parents love sleep, and most parents don’t like change. So just the hour change can really throw off some families,” said Wimmer.
Congress debated whether to change the clocks for good and leave them there in March to keep spring forward in place. It passed in the Senate but stalled in the House.
The certified sleep consultant says if it’s brought up again this year, spring forward is the best option.
“Just an hour difference can really be hard for kids to go back and forth. So having the same time, we wouldn’t have to adjust their schedules by an hour, which can sometimes take one to two weeks to get them back on the right time,” she said.
It’s unknown whether the bill will come up for discussion again this year.
In the meantime, Wimmer says there are some things you can do gradually make the change for your child.
Babies have a system called the circadian rhythm that needs to be programmed. Simple changes you make, with the click of the sound machine, moving up the clock a little, and blackout curtains, making for longer sleep when the sun is still out.
“A week before, start moving the morning wake up, the nap, and the bedtime 10 minutes earlier each day. If you want to do a gradual change, that would be something that would be helpful,” she said.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED?
- Newborns (0-3 months) - 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months) - 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years) - 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years) - 10-13 hours
- School age children (6-13 years) - 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17 years) - 8-10 hours
- Young adults (18-25 years) - 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64 years) - 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+) - 7-8 hours
Adults should be able to adjust to the new schedule naturally within a few days.
To help your brain and body make the shift more quickly, experts at the National Sleep Foundation recommend sleeping in for an extra half hour on the Sunday morning after the clocks change, and expose yourself to sunlight early in the morning.
As the weeks progress, this will become less of an issue as the days gain more hours of natural light.
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