Daylight saving time–which begins this Sunday, March 9th, isn’t the easiest sell for children. You can probably already anticipate what’s going to happen for several nights after it occurs: It won’t be dark at your child’s bedtime and it will “feel” much earlier to him, so your youngster will battle you at bedtime. There are a few things you can do today to make this transition easier for both you and your child.
Think of It Like Jet Lag
Seasoned business travelers know that traveling from the west coast to east is more challenging than traveling in the east to west direction. The reason for this is simple: the human circadian clock is actually a little longer than 24 hours, so it’s easier for us to stay up later than to fall asleep earlier in relation to our usual bedtime.
Take It Back a Baby Step
Parents may wish to move bedtime back ten to fifteen minutes a few days before the actual time change. You might also wish to move up the time of other daytime activities such as mealtime or naptime. This gradual shift will pay dividends once the time change officially occurs.
Be Strategic With Light
If you want to move up your child’s sleep schedule, remember that the timing of light exposure is also important. The best way to handle this is to increase your child’s light exposure in the morning by letting more sun into the room. Similarly, making his room darker in the evening is also important.
And what about us moms and dads? All of these tips apply to us too!