How to shift your kids to a new springtime sleep schedule
Here are some tips on preparing your kids for the start of daylight savings time.
Adjust their sleep schedule gradually
Use the week leading up to the clock change to gradually shift your kids’ bedtime earlier by 10 to 15 minutes each day. That way, when the time change arrives, they won’t be as affected by going to bed a full hour earlier.
Anticipate a delayed bedtime
Adjusting to a time change takes a little while, especially for kids. Be prepared for your children to be more wide awake than usual at bedtime during the first week or so after you move the clocks forward. However, try to encourage them to stay in their rooms and do restful activities (such as quietly playing with a toy or looking at a picture book) until they drift off.
Having your kids sleep a little later in the morning may be a welcome change the first few days after you move the clocks. But if you (or they) need to be somewhere early in the morning, anticipate that they might not bound out of bed as easily as usual and plan accordingly.
Consider changes in dark and light
Make sure that your child’s room is as dark as possible at bedtime. You might even consider hanging blackout shades in windows to help create a dark environment, especially as the days continue to lengthen. Also, ensure that your child has exposure to plenty of natural light during the day. This helps regulate the body’s natural rhythms.
In some parts of the country, moving the clocks forward means a return to dark mornings for a while, just as everyone was getting used to earlier sunrises. If your child really has a hard time getting up, consider a visual alarm clock that gradually makes the room brighter as wake-up time approaches.
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