Daylight Saving Time - Spring Ahead
It’s that time of year again…. ugh…. I would totally be on board with scrapping Daylight Saving Time change. What about you?
To be 100% honest, it’s something that I think/worry about a week or so before, and then we make it through. Every time… Twice a year… I still always have a lingering fear that it’s going to mess everything up. But it doesn’t! Sometimes, it seems to take a bit longer to get back on track. But, typically within a week or so the kids are going to sleep and waking up at the new “normal” time.
In my pre-kid life, “Springing Ahead” always seemed like an hour of my sleep was stolen from me. But after having kids, I find this time change is like a little present. There is a good chance that your child will “sleep in”! It’s a pretty great feeling to see 8 AM on the clock when the kids are just starting to stir. And for those of your with early risers, this is definitely a welcomed time of year.
Although an 8 am start to your day may seem great, we do live in a society where a 7 am wake is almost impossible to avoid (school/work/all the things). Plus, most children’s circadian rhythm naturally wants to wake and sleep around 7 AM/PM. I have a very simple and straight forward method for you to follow to ensure a seamless transition to Daylight Saving Time.
When we move to Daylight Saving Time (Spring Ahead) there is no need to prep in advance. No need to start bumping awake times or bedtimes before the actual date arrives. On the morning of, enjoy that sleep in!! I wouldn’t sleep much past 8 AM, as it could throw naps off for the day. For the first 3 days, bump naps and bedtime later by 30 min (this will feel like 30 min early). For example, if naps are at 10 AM and 2:30 PM usually, for the first 3 days of Daylight Saving Time, naps will be at 10:30 AM and 3 PM (new time). If bedtime is at 7:30 PM, bump it to 8 PM new time. After 3 days, move to the correct new time (naps at 10 AM and 2:30 PM and bedtime at 7:30 PM). Adjust morning wake up accordingly as well. For the first 3 days after the shift, start by waking your little one 30 min later than their usual wake up (this will seem like 30 min early to them but will appear 30 min later on the clock).
In addition to gradually shifting the time in 30 min increments, help your child through this transition by maintaining naps and an appropriate bedtime, getting outside for fresh air and natural sunlight, and giving them extra love and comfort. Any kind of shift in our body clock leaves us feeling a bit of jet lag, take advantage of those extra cuddles.
At this time of year, with spring weather and longer days, it can be easy for bedtime to naturally shift later. Be mindful of this as your child will typically start waking at their usual time (new time) and so will be short on nighttime hours of sleep. This goes for us as adults as well. For the first few days, our bodies may feel like staying up later and we can also get into a habit of pushing our bedtime later.
With any sort of shift in sleep, it is normal for us to feel a bit off. Remember that it takes about a week or so for all of us to feel normal again. Even if we are still getting the usual 8 hours of nighttime sleep, it takes time for our bodies to adjust. This is true for our kids as well. There may be more outburst, breakdowns, meltdowns, and tantrums. And that’s ok. It will pass. Remember that they are feeling off too!
If the time change is the least of your worries and you'd like to chat about getting sleep on track, book a call here.