Has anyone noticed how quickly Daylight Saving Time is creeping up? Did you know it takes place this Sunday, March 11th? I’m not really sure I’m ready to get up in the dark again, and to loose an hour. And what about young families who struggle with their children getting used to the new time? Those are definitely negatives. But in the end we all know it’s worth it to have those longer evenings and lots of daylight!
So what should you do to prepare your children for the time change? Starting tonight, begin putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. If they always have gone to bed at 7, tonight it will be 6:45. The following night make it another 15 minutes earlier and so on, until they are going to bed, one full hour earlier from when you started.
For adults and children, it can take our bodies a few days to adjust to time changes; it’s good to get an early start on Daylight Saving Time. Initially your child may not feel sleepy, or be able to settle and fall asleep as easily with this change, therefore household activities need to change as well!
What you can do:
Serve dinner earlier
Dim the lights in the house
Turn electronics off
Begin the bedtime routine earlier and increase the time you spend
By doing all these things, you allow your child’s body to begin the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Your child’s internal sleep clock is set by light and dark, so not only do you want to make the house dark at night in preparation for sleep, you also want to expose your child to as much sunshine and daylight as possible. This will reprogram your child’s clock and get him or her adjusted to the new time. Now you can be ready to welcome spring and summer, and the long evenings they bring!
Let me know if you have other tips to help kids adjust to the time change.
Angela Walsh is a Family Sleep Institute, Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and the founder of Babes in Sleepland. She helps sleep deprived babies, children and families, get back on track and get the sleep they need and desire. To learn more about Angela and how she can help you, visit her website: babesinsleepland.com Also get sleep tips, the latest research on baby and child products, and be part of her weekly Q and A at her Facebook page: Babes in Sleepland.