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Prepare Your Kids for Daylight Saving Time

Prepare Your Kids for Daylight Saving Time

The “spring forward/fall back” switch messes up everyone’s schedule! Especially for parents of young children who live by “the schedule”, it means panic!!!! If your child usually wake up at 5:45 AM, they will now wake up at the dark hour of 4:45 AM, throwing their moods out of whack, and you in a state of crazy.

Here are some easy ways to get your little one on track so that the whole family can get a good night’s sleep:

  • Kids take time to adjust so take baby steps: By simply turning the clock back an hour one night and to expect your child to be in sync with the time change is not going to happen. Doctors suggest gradually shifting your kid’s bedtime in preparation for end of daylight saving time. If your child goes to bed at 7 p.m., then four days before the time change, put him to bed at 7:15 p.m., then 7:30 p.m., and so on until you are back on schedule.

 

  • Control the light: Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your body’s internal circadian clock. It increases in the evening as it becomes dark, which helps induce sleep, and shuts down when it’s light out, which can then increase wakefulness and alertness.

When daylight saving time ends, the key is making sure your child doesn’t go to bed too early or wake up earlier than he/she already does. So when you “fall back,” make sure your child has some light exposure in the early evening and ensure that her room isn’t too bright in the morning. Invest in some blackout shades to make sure your kids’ room doesn’t scream “wake up time!” when it’s not.

 

  • Practice good sleep habits and stick to a routine: According to a new study published in Pediatrics, children are uniquely vulnerable to sleep disruption due to screen time. Researchers recommend limiting children’s media use in the hour before bedtime and removing all electronic media, including tablets, TVs, and phones, from their bedrooms.

 

It is also important that you don’t forget to take care of yourself, too! Adults can feel sluggish and cranky themselves after the daylight saving time switch, so make sure you’re getting the rest you need as well, so you’re not overly irritable with your child. And remember: These effects are short-lived — within a week or so, everything should be back to normal.

 

 

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