Daylight saving time can act like jet lag, leaving you feeling groggy for a few days after the change. Whether it’s “springing forward” or “falling back,” the lack of sleep that usually occurs with this time change can be especially hard on your kids.
According to Parents.com, “Young children need more sleep and don’t tolerate sleep deprivation as well as adults. The loss of just one hour can really affect a child’s attention span, appetite, and overall mood.”
There are some easy ways you can help your kids adjust to this big change in their schedules, and help everyone in your home be in a better mood!
- Take Baby Steps – Try making the adjustment gradually rather than just setting the clock forward or backward one night and expecting your child to adjust. Prepare the week beforehand by making bedtime a little bit earlier each night until your child is going to bed an hour before they usually do.
- Control the Lights – Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body’s internal clock, and it increases in the evening when it gets dark out. Daylight saving time can alter this schedule a little bit, and that’s when it gets hard for kids – they don’t want to go to sleep when it’s still light outside! To fix this, make sure your kids stop using electronics about 30 minutes before bedtime, including watching TV. This will help their brains relax before it’s time to sleep.
- Stick with a Routine – It’s important to stick to a routine at bedtime. Even when you have to change the clocks, remember to keep the bedtime routine of washing up, reading, listening to music, or whatever relaxing activities they like the same even if their bedtime is changing.
- Get Enough Sleep Now – Going into daylight saving time well-rested can greatly help your child because he or she won’t be cranky, which can make falling asleep even harder.
- Be Sympathetic – If your child’s mood is bad after daylight saving time, try to be more forgiving. Parents.com says, “The time change can cause such short-term changes in your child’s mood, but your understanding and support will help him or her adjust a little better.”
Don’t forget – daylight saving time this year is on Sunday, March 12th! We hope these tips will help you, and your child have a smooth transition into the spring.
For more tips on how to deal with other behavioral issues with your child, check out our website! We’re the trusted and preferred preschool in Ann Arbor and work hard to provide children with a positive, encouraging learning space.