With the arrival of fall, the days have already started getting shorter, and before we know it, the dreaded time change in early November will be messing with all of our sleep schedules. For many families, especially those with young children, Daylight Savings Time (DST) is a challenging adjustment. While the purpose of DST is to make use of extra daylight to conserve energy, no one seemed at all concerned about kids’ sleep needs when they brought it into practice! However, if you follow my Top 3 Time Change Tips, you and your family will make it through well rested.
1. Plan ahead for the later bedtime. The best approach to dealing with time changes is to do it gradually.
2. Control the light. Any kind of light has an effect on our circadian rhythms (our own body clocks) so it’s important to use that to our advantage. To help your child stay awake a few minutes later each night as you extend bedtime:
3. Delay the morning routine.
No matter how prepared you are it can still take a few days to fully adjust to the time change. However, if you can implement these tips prior to Sunday, Nov 6th, you will be in for a much smoother transition.
Ashley Cooley is a Health Promotion Specialist, Childbirth Educator, and Child Sleep Consultant with Citadel Sleep Consulting. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with her husband and two toddler girls. She’s passionate about sharing her real life experiences and certified knowledge to help families sleep better.