How to handle the ‘Fall Back’ time change side-effect free

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We are just a couple of days away from Sunday’s early morning time change.
This time we’re “falling” back, meaning we get an entire extra hour to snooze, but should we?

One sleep specialist tells News 19 you have to know your sleep habits before you can indulge.

“Sensitive sleepers can take a week, even two weeks, for their bodies to realign and reset.”

Other sleepers, sleep specialist Jamie Caldwell said, may be able to handle the switch; however, even more, impactful than the extra hour is one other thing that could throw off a person’s circadian rhythm.

“I think the biggest thing to keep in mind with the time change is light.”

It will get bright earlier and get dark earlier, which most of us, sensitive sleepers or not, will feel the impact.

Caldwell says getting as much sunlight as possible is key during the day to help keep your body energized and closing the blinds at night so you don’t wake up to those bright sunbeams is even better.

“Then in the morning, as soon as your start your day, opening up your blinds and just signaling to your body the day is starting and letting your clock really reset that way.”

She said for families with young kids especially, it may be best to go ahead and start making some changes now to guarantee a smooth transition.

“Even starting tonight, going to bed in 30-minute later increments, just a couple days practice just slowly pushing that bedtime forward, pushing that awake time forward may help make that week go that much smoother,” Caldwell said.

Whether an adult or child, however, Caldwell said it’s important to prioritize sleep, not only during time changes but year-round whenever you can.

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