If it were up to me, Daylight Savings Time wouldn’t even exist. When we mess with our internal clocks + bodies that are already sleep deprived, we end up with more car accidents, workplace injuries, headaches, and wasted work hours.
Seeing as I have no political power to change this, I’ll simply leave you with my best tips for dealing with this weekend’s time change.
When should I get started?
When we “Fall Back”, or gain an hour of sleep, we are tempted to reset the clocks before we head off to bed. Lots of clocks do this automatically. My suggestion is to not mess with manually changing them Saturday night. Leave them alone so it’s not psychologically upsetting to see your little one up an hour earlier in the morning.
On Sunday, wake up at your usual time and start the day. (Yes, it might be 5am or 6am…but their bodies, and yours, still feel like its 6 or 7). After you’ve had coffee and you’re feeling mentally prepared, go around and change all the clocks. It will feel much better this way! Trust me.
How do I adjust naps?
If your little one (for example) usually takes a morning nap around 9:30, move it up to 9am for the first three days. It will be a little push (since it feels like 10am to her), but it won’t be so horrible that it ruins her schedule. Do the same with the afternoon nap.
How do I adjust bedtime?
If your little guy normally goes to bed at 7pm, I recommend putting him to bed at 6:30pm for the first three days (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday). To him, it feels like 7:30pm.
How long will this last?
Usually it takes about a week for a child’s body to get used to this. For the first three days make the adjustments as needed. Usually after three days you’re safe to jump back into the “old” times. But, everyone is different! Some kids can easily make the change without shifting bedtimes.
I have a Toddler, how can I make this adjustment easier?
If your little one is over the age of two you can use a digital alarm clock (tape over the minutes) or use this OK to Wake! Clock. Set the clock forward half an hour during the adjustment week and let them get up a little earlier as their body gets acclimated to the new time. By the end of the week their bodies should be back on track and they’ll be sleeping until their normal wake up time.
On the fourth night of the week (Wednesday) your child’s body should be quite used the new change. Get them back on their usual 7pm bedtime, and move naps accordingly.
Push your bedtime a little early too since you’ll be waking up early as well.