The thought of losing an hour of sleep as a parent can be daunting for more reasons than one. Maybe you are already exhausted or you have a child or two who is not a morning person and you already struggle getting them up and at it. As we prepare to “Spring Forward” and adjust our clocks one hour ahead, we can know that the days will seem longer with more daylight and this can also cause a disruption in your child’s sleep routine. Here are a few tricks you can start trying before Day Light Saving Time on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
Try these 5 “spring forward” tips to help your kids adjust to Daylight Saving Time without losing sleep (or your sanity).
Prepare By Going To Bed Early
This one seems like a no brainer. But let’s be honest, if you already struggle to get your little ones in bed at their already scheduled time, then you’re probably thinking “yeah right!”. You can start tonight and leading up to Sunday, adjust in 10-15 intervals earlier than their regular bedtime. You know your child best, and this might work better as opposed to the night before, sending them to bed a solid hour ahead of time. Or for some it might confuse their circadian rhythm. Just like you would experience with jet lag, it takes some time for our bodies to adjust to a new internal sleep clock or time change. Going to bed earlier in general is a good idea to avoid your little ones (and you) being over tired.
Light During The Day, Dark At Night
Speaking of circadian rhythm (just a fancy word for our internal sleep clocks), they are heavily influenced by our environment and regulated by lightness and darkness. This is why many of us wake up when the sun rises and light creeps in our room and feel tired after the sun sets and it gets dark outside. You can encourage your child’s 24 hour sleep cycle by exposing them to light first thing in the morning and keeping rooms dark for bedtime with blackout curtains.
Consistent Routines For Quality Rest
Entering a new season can mean change of schedules, new activities and the longer daylight and warmer days will have the kids wanting to play outside more. Children often feel the impact of the change more, so sticking as closely as possibly to your current routine, will help any confusion with small adjustments.
Remember To Be Patient With Your Kids
Sleep deprivation can wreck havoc on the entire household. Children get just as confused as our bodies at first to a time change, and even though our bodies will adjust naturally, some have a harder time than others. If you notice more mood swings, tantrums and melt downs after the time change, just remember that lack of sleep could very well be the culprit. If needed, allow a nap time to recharge and refresh as their little bodies adjust.
Light Up Alarm Clocks For Toddlers
My 5 year old loves to wake the entire house up way before it is even time to get up. Over a year ago we invested in an OK To Wake Alarm Clock and it has been a total game changer. Toddlers love watching the alarm clock light up, meaning it is now a good time to wake up. Parents love it too, haha! The good news though if you already have an early riser, is that the time shift will actual help manage those mornings a little better with a decent wake up time that the whole house will appreciate.
Children bounce back and are resilient so try not to worry too much about the impact Day Light Saving may have on them at first. Their bodies will eventually adjust as they know what to do and sometimes the best thing might be to just go with it and with what works best for your little ones! Here’s to longer days of making fun outdoor memories and enjoying all that Spring has to offer — You’ve got this, mama!