The Simplest Way to Solid Sleep with Daylight Saving Time
Updated: May 18, 2022
It’s such a lovely thought, isn’t it? We’re definitely still in the thick of winter where I live, but at least we’re getting close! With the promise of spring, also comes Daylight Saving Time. Ooph, right?
Before kids, Spring Ahead felt like the worst day of the year. It felt like I had an hour of sleep stolen from me, even though I was very well rested. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess. But now that I’m 3 kids deep, I actually see it as a positive – or at least not something I dread for weeks ahead.
The Good News
Of the two times a year that we change our clocks, Spring Ahead is definitely the better of the two options. It’s easier for most little ones to adjust to feeling ahead of their typical sleep schedule than behind. And if you have a sweet little early riser on your hands, this often fixes that sleep hurdle. Pretty good, hey?
The other good part is that when we’re moving our clocks ahead, there’s little to no prep work needed! If you’re a planner like me, saying that there’s nothing to be done can actually be a smidge stressful – isn’t that funny?
The Tangible Advice
But for the fellow overachievers in the room, if suggesting that you let things be and enjoy what feels like the opportunity to sleep in a bit doesn’t turn your crank, I’m still here to deliver the sleep goods.
You still don’t have to start this in advance, but on the Sunday of DST and for the next few days, bump those naps and bedtime later by 30 minutes. Frankly, you could do the same for yourself because adults are affected by the change in time too! So if your little one typically naps at 10:00 & 2:00, bump those back to 10:30 & 2:30 for now. Those first 3 days are about making the adjustment easier and easing the impact of the difference on their sleep (it’s going to feel like half an hour early!) Once you feel like your little one has adjusted, you can go back to their usual time. A 30 minute difference is much easier for them to handle.
The same goes for their bedtime! If they’re usually in bed by 7:30 PM, then bump it to the new 8:00 PM for those first few days (remember, it’ll still feel like 7:00 PM!). Once they’re settled in that, go back to their original sleep schedule of 10:00, 2:00, & 7:30.
Remember that you’ll also be waking them 30 minutes later than usual in the morning for those first days, so they won’t be missing out on that sleep.
My Other Secrets
As tempting as it is (believe me, I’m with you!), don’t let your kiddos sleep in toooo long. If you want to minimize how this hour change will affect their sleep for the rest of the day (or a few days, because we all take time to adjust!), I wouldn’t recommend sleeping past 8:00 AM. Don’t hate me for that, okay?
It won’t come as a surprise to hear me say that you can also ease the change by getting outside! Shocker, right? Getting some good sunlight is great for your Circadian Rhythm and fresh air and exercise is an excellent way to help
everyone feel a little more drowsy by the end of the day. Moving your body and getting that outdoor stimulation is a great way to prepare yourself for a good night’s rest – and it feels good too!
The other thing I tell anyone who asks is that blackout curtains will save you. While we love having more hours of sunshine, it can really affect when your little wakes up. Nobody likes being woken up at 5:00 AM by a poor little one who’s so tired, but can’t sleep because it’s too bright. My outright FAVES are the Sleepout blinds because they’re very dark, portable, aesthetic, and won’t trash your windows.
Gotta try em? You’ll love them! And if you use code WHOLENIGHT10 you’ll get 10% off to sweeten the deal.
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 (new) time and so will be short on nighttime hours of sleep. This goes for everyone in your house! 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.
If you’re already NOT getting the sleep you need, I’m here to turn that around! Getting that restful sleep shouldn’t be a luxury. While it might look a little different when your kiddos are young, it’s totally doable to get the rest that makes you feel capable, happy, and strong. You know – to feel human again!
You can start with my Top 5 Tips for Sleeping Through the Night download (it’s free!), or schedule your free discovery call to tell me about your child’s specific sleep hurdles and how I can help you reach those sleep goals in a way that feels good to you as a parent.
Sound good? Contacting me here is the first step in having those glorious sleep-filled nights again.