Ready or not, daylight saving time starts again this weekend. That means we’re springing forward and losing an hour of sleep and when we drag our kids out of bed at seven, it’ll feel like six. As adults, we can cope with caffeine, but what about our little ones? Here’s what sleep experts and pediatricians advise to make the transition easier on everyone:
- Do get a head start on a smooth transition - Clinical psychologist and sleep researcher Sara Nowakowski suggests making the transition easier by shifting your kid’s bedtime forward by 15 minutes for the nights leading up to the time change, then going back to normal bedtime on Sunday night, the first night of daylight saving time.
- Adjust your family’s wake-up time, too - She also suggests shifting your morning routine by waking your kids up earlier, ideally 15 minutes earlier each day, so it’s not so much of a shock Monday morning.
- Start your day with sunshine - Getting some morning light can help reset the body’s internal clock and help signal that it’s time to wake up. So open the curtains and turn on the lights, or better yet, go outside, if you have time.
- Don’t cut corners at bedtime - Stick to your usual routine, don’t skip reading or any other rituals to get kids to bed earlier. Just start the routine sooner so you still get it all in and your little ones have a consistent routine.
- Think like a vampire in the evenings - Darkness helps turn on melatonin - a hormone our bodies make to help induce sleep. Close the curtains and dim the lights to ease little ones to bedtime.
- Don’t worry about adjusting nap time - If you’re lucky enough to still have a kid who sleeps during the day, don’t bother adjusting that time for daylight saving.
- Make screen time DST friendly - The blue light from devices can mess with melatonin production, so shift them to night mode to minimize blue light in the evening.
- Don’t forget about your own sleep needs - The time change can be tough on adults, too, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
Source: The Stir