That time is almost upon us again – Daylight Savings is ending (unless you live in Arizona or parts of Indiana, lucky ducks!). It ends on November 6th to be exact and can have you feeling sluggish and out of sorts. Before you had kids you were probably ecstatic to gain an extra hour of sleep. Unfortunately, whoever decided daylight savings was a good idea obviously didn’t have kids.
Have no fear! We have some tips to help prepare you and your kids for the time change to help avoid sleep deprivation; because we know NO ONE is happy when they are sleep-deprived!
Tips to Avoid Sleep Deprivation From Daylight Savings:
- Make it gradual. An hour may not seem like that long, but when it comes to “kid time” and sleep, it really is. A few days before daylight savings ends, gradually adjust their sleep and wake time by 15-minute increments. So if they go to bed at 8 p.m., start by putting them to bed at 8:15 p.m., then 8:30 and so forth. In the morning, let them sleep a little later each day as well, but make sure to wake them at the time they are supposed to get up.
- Light exposure. A hormone called melatonin regulates our internal clocks, which is affected by light. It increases as it gets dark, helping induce sleep. As daylight savings ends, make sure your child gets a lot of light exposure in the evening (when it’s dark, but not yet time to go to bed) and not as much in the morning (when it’s too early to get up). Blackout shades are great to help reduce light in the morning to avoid waking up too early.
- Routines. Regardless of daylight savings, routines are a great way to help kids unwind and cue them as to when it’s time to sleep. It’s especially important to keep this routine the same during time changes. Keep bedtime and morning routines the same, but just adjust the times that you start them.
- Get rest. Encourage your kids to take it easy the few days before and let them sleep longer if they want or indulge in naps. The more tired they are, the harder it will be to sleep and adjust so try to let them rest up.
- Limit screen time. The iPads, television, phones – avoid these too close to bed as they stimulate brains and can keep kids awake much longer than they need to be. Try to eliminate screen time at least an hour before bedtime.
TKD Tip: As you’re preparing your children for the end of daylight savings, remember to take care of yourself as well and adhere to these tips. There is nothing worse than dealing with tired, cranky kids when you are also tired and cranky.