Spring is an exciting time when we receive an additional hour of sunlight. While the annual “spring forward” offers more sunlight in the evening, it also means that we lose an hour of sleep. This time change can disrupt normal sleep patterns for children.
Some tips to help your child adjust to the time change:
- Gradually Shift Bedtime — Have your child move their bedtime up by 20 minute increments each night starting three days before the time change.
- Keep a Bedtime Routine — Bedtime routines help cultivate strong sleep cues to help your child fall asleep at bedtime. If your child is not falling asleep after bedtime, don't give in to excuses they may make to get out of bed. Keep them calm and preserve the bedtime routine.
- Turn Off the Light — Ensure your child’s room is dark at bedtime and expose your child to light at wakeup time.
- Wake Your Child Up on Time – In the morning, don’t compensate for the lost hour of sleep. Wake your child up based on current clock time.
- Patience is Key — Be patient if your child is sleepy for a few days. Try not to let them nap if it’s not their usual practice.
Teenagers may take longer to adjust to the new time change.
This year’s daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12. Don’t forget to mark your calendar to set your clocks forward one hour. Here’s wishing you and your family healthy sleep.