Spring Forward With Ease: Tips to Help Seniors Navigate Daylight Savings Time

Spring Forward With Ease: Tips to Help Seniors Navigate Daylight Savings Time

A woman getting sleep during daylight savings time.

March 2, 2023

As spring approaches, we’re all getting eager to enjoy the rejuvenating elements of fresh air, warmer temperatures and sunnier days—but we must also consider the impending Daylight Savings Time (DST) and shifting our clocks an hour ahead on March 12. At Heather Glen Senior Living, we recognize that this transition can be particularly difficult for seniors who may experience sleep disruptions or struggle with changes to their daily routine—which is why we have compiled a set of helpful tips to support seniors in adapting comfortably to DST and making the most of the upcoming spring season.

Adjust accordingly

First and foremost, we recommend gradually adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before DST begins. Since we’ll be losing an hour of sleep during daylight savings time, the last thing you’ll want to feel is fatigued or exhausted. Something as simple as shifting your bedtime and waking-up time by 15-30 minutes each day leading up to the time change can make a huge difference and help alleviate some of the shock that comes with losing an hour. By doing so, your internal clock will have time to adjust to the new schedule and minimize any confusion or tiredness.

Stay active

Engaging in physical activities during the day can be particularly helpful during the DST transition period. With the time change, it may take a few days for our bodies to adjust to the new schedule, which can lead to feelings of fatigue and grogginess. However, staying active during the day can help regulate our sleep-wake cycle and promote feelings of alertness and energy. By participating in exercise classes or engaging in other physical activities, seniors can reduce stress and anxiety, leading to improved overall health and well-being, which can ultimately help them adjust to DST more smoothly.

Create a sleep-friendly environment

Creating a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom is another important factor in managing the effects of DST. With the time change, it may be difficult to fall asleep at the usual time, especially if it's still light outside. By making sure your bedroom is dark, comfortable and quiet—you can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere that promotes healthy sleep patterns. It's also essential to avoid electronic devices such as televisions and smartphones before bedtime, as the blue light emitted by these devices can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. Instead, consider reading a book or listening to soft music to relax your mind and prepare for a restful night's sleep. This can help ensure that you get the quality sleep you need to adjust to DST and maintain good health and well-being.

Be consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy sleep routine for people of all ages—but especially for seniors. Try to stick to a consistent bedtime and waking up time, even on weekends. This can help regulate your sleep patterns and minimize the impact of DST on your body. We also recommend avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as these can interfere with sleep. Instead, consider drinking a warm cup of milk or herbal tea to help you relax and wind down for the night. 

Modify your routine

For seniors that take medications, you’ll want to be mindful of the effects of DST on your medication schedule. Some medications may need to be taken at specific times of the day, and the time change can affect this schedule—so you’ll want to consult with your healthcare provider to make any necessary adjustments.

Enjoy this spring season to the fullest

By following the tips above, seniors can help minimize the impact of DST on their physical and mental health—which will help them enjoy a restful and rejuvenating spring season! At Heather Glen Senior Living, we make it our mission to help our personal and memory care residents have a smooth and healthy transition throughout all changes in life—from Daylight Savings Time to an array of other significant events that may impact their daily routines and well-being. Our experienced staff is dedicated to providing the support and resources needed to ensure that each resident's unique needs are met and that they can continue to live life to the fullest, even during times of transition. Whether it's adjusting medication schedules, promoting healthy sleep habits or offering engaging activities to keep residents active—we are committed to helping our residents thrive. To learn more about our top-rated care community and the personalized process we’re known for at Heather Glen Senior Living, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (610) 841-4478 or fill out our online form for more information!

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