It’s that time of the year again. Time to “fall back,” when Daylight Savings ends and the clocks go back an hour. “The original idea of DST is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who voiced concerns about energy consumption during dark autumn and winter evenings as early as 1784,” according to Linda Geddes, author of Chasing the Sun: How the Science of Sunlight Shapes our Bodies and Minds. But for parents, DST ends up creating its own very real concerns too. Our kids are waking up at their “usual” time, yet the clock reads an hour earlier. Yikes! So what can parents do to prepare the family for this one-hour change so it doesn’t wreak havoc on the household’s moods and schedules? Here are some Daylight Savings/end of Daylight Savings tips:
Little kids tend to get up earlier than the rest of the family, which means changing the clocks back even one hour can make up for a challenging few weeks of adjusting to an earlier morning schedule. So, for the week leading up to the changing of the clocks, try pushing sleep times 10 to 15 minutes later every night or two. This will gradually shift bedtimes forward to get everyone back on track—which is a win-win for tired parents.
Also think about the amount of light that comes into the room and adjust accordingly. Try blackout shades, or something similar, that will fully cover bedroom windows.
And of course limiting screen time before bed, exercising regularly, and trying to keep up with practicing good life habits goes a long way. Developing healthy and consistent routines, especially before bedtime, will help kid (and adults) ease into a better sleep schedule—this week and every week.
With a little forethought, we can hopefully all wake up on Sunday morning well-rested. Or as well-rested as possible when you have little kids in the house!
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