Daylight Savings Time
How can you help your children get the sleep they need.
We all want to spring forward in more ways than one; especially with the weather we have been experiencing lately. Now that we have lost an hour we need to make sure our children get caught up and maintain good sleep habits.
Children often react to Daylight Savings Time by being crankier. Their routine is temporarily interrupted and they may not get as much sleep as they are used to, or may have more difficulty falling asleep.
Daylight saving time is no fun for anyone. That groggy, "I really don't want to get out of bed" feeling lingers for days after you set your clocks forward a hour, and can make any already sleep-deprived parent feel exhausted. But the loss of sleep can be even tougher on children. "Young children need more sleep and don't tolerate sleep deprivation as well as adults," explains Daniel Lewin, Ph.D., associate director of sleep medicine at Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C. "The loss of just one hour can really affect a child's attention span, appetite, and overall mood."
Some tips from the experts to help with the transition:
- Stick with your usual bedtime routine; do not deviate. Keep the bath, the bedtime story, the snuggling, the lights off, all in the same order.
- Dim the lights
- Do not allow TV or video games close to bedtime, these activities wind children up, not settle them down.
- Ask older children to engage in quiet activities during a younger child’s bedtime. If they cannot hear what is going on, they will not think they are missing out on anything
- Be a little more patient and sympathetic, the changes in children’s moods during the transition are short term, but they bring frustration to everyone.