I’m just wondering if you were as surprised as I was when I discovered Daylight Saving Times (DST) takes place this Sunday, March 8th? I have never known it to be so early, and I’m not really sure if I am ready to get up in the dark again, and to loose an hour. But in any event, it is what it is, and the longer evenings are definitely a bonus!
So what should you do to prepare your children for the time change? Starting tomorrow night begin putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. So if they always went to bed at 7, tomorrow 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 than when you started .
For adults and children it can take our bodies a few days to adjust to time changes, so it’s good to get an early start on Daylight Saving. Initially your child may not feel sleepy or be able to settle and fall asleep as easily with this change, so make sure all the other household activities are changing as well. For example, meals should be earlier, turning the lights down in the house, turning off electronics, starting the bedtime routine. These are all the things that act as cues for your baby or child to know it’s getting close to bedtime. By dimming rooms in the house, and turning off TV’s, computers, and other such type of devices, will allow your child’s body to begin the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Our 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 her adjusted to this new time change.
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.