Daylight saving started on Sunday 30 September this year. That means we’re now on ‘New Zealand daylight time’, which is one hour ahead of New Zealand standard time. It can be challenging to settle into the change, so how are you and your family coping?
If you have children in the house, you’ll know that it can take some time for them to get used to the changes. Convincing little ones that it is bedtime while it’s still light outside is a test for all parents! See if you can make your children’s bedrooms a little darker using blinds or blackout curtains and make sure you keep to bedtime routines of a relaxing bath, calming stories and cuddles before sleep.
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New Zealand first introduced daylight saving time in 1927.
It can take the rest of us a while to settle into the time change. Try to stick to your regular routine as much as possible, heading to bed and getting up at your usual time. Getting some sunlight soon after you wake may help your body to adjust so if you can, head out for a brisk walk before you start your day.
To encourage good sleep there are a few things it’s good to avoid for several hours before hitting the hay, such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Also try to limit the use of your smartphone, computer and TV for two hours before sleep (the blue light emitted by these screens is thought to disrupt our sleeping patterns).
On the upside, daylight saving is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the brighter evenings. With a longer stretch of daylight after work, use this time to go for a walk, head to the park, playground or beach with the family, or spend some time in the garden. The evening sunshine can lift our mood and the fresh air promotes good sleep.
While we’re enjoying the extra sunlight hours, remember we still need to protect our skin. The late afternoon spring sunshine isn’t as harsh as our summer sun, but we still need to be careful.
As a handy rule of thumb, we’ve added a couple of key words to the SunSmart mantra: remember to ‘slip, slop, slap, wrap, app – and map’.
If you’re out and about, head for the shade and/or cover up with clothing, a hat, sunglasses and SPF50+ sunscreen. Try to avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm in the ‘daylight savings’ months – check the daily UV Alerts at niwa.co.nz or download a UV alert app on your mobile device.
And just as importantly, book a Full Body MoleMap every year to track any changes in your skin.