Daylight Savings Time is around the corner, and that means we gain more daylight… But losing an hour of sleep, so rude. Sadly, there are no exemptions for the already-sleep-deprived: parents.
Kids definitely can make this seasonal change a challenge. Before you set your clocks forward an hour (or let your tech adjust on its own), check out our tips and tricks for keeping your child’s (and your own) sleep routine intact.
DST is Sunday, March 14th. This time around we push the clocks forward an hour. The days will feel longer with more sunlight, but it means adjusting the kid’s sleep schedule. Are you not cheering? Neither am I. But together we can make this transition as easy as possible!
Many parents start pushing up bedtime for little ones a week or two before Daylight savings time. You can do this in 15-minute increments or trying to go to bed an hour earlier the night before. This is often harder with preteens as they may fight the change so I don’t push the issue with my big kids. I explain why they should go to bed earlier and let them feel the consequences once they lose an hour of sleep.
Encourage darkness for sleepy time
Getting on the same rhythm as the day can help with energy and mood. Our body’s circadian rhythms (or internal sleep cycles) are regulated by lightness and darkness. These are heavily influenced by our environment. You can help encourage this natural cycle by ensuring the bedroom is dark for bedtime and letting in natural light when it is time to wake up. Blackout shades are a good option for this especially if your child has an earlier bedtime or still takes naps.
Having an Amazon Alexa has been life-changing for our children’s bedrooms. I create alarms for my preteens and my preschooler likes to listen to music in her room if she wakes up before everyone else.
Patience is a Virtue (I barely have)
The effects of sleep deprivation impact the entire family. Our natural timers in our bodies take a bit to adjust to the change. Remember it’s okay if your kids are a mess for a few days. Put yourself in their shoes and by staying calm you’ll help them adjust faster to the time change. Your child might not even notice anything but if they do, it is important to listen to them and their concerns about why their body might not feel ready for sleep.