I have a love-hate relationship with daylight savings time. In the Fall I absolutely adore getting gifted with extra hour of sleep, whereas in the spring I dread the day where I am forced to wake up an hour early. Obviously this poses serious challenges for kids who are naturally more sensitive to schedule change. Which often results in your kids acting groggy, grouchy, or just plain gnarly!
So, to save you from unnecessary headaches and tears my team at ChatterBlock has helped me compiled a list of what we think are the top tips to prevent havoc on March 16th.
This is easier said than done, especially for parents who are already sleep deprived. However, it is very important to start stockpiling sleep. Now we are not suggesting sleeping for 12 hours, but rather we are just promoting being proactive in taking care of your body. This way you won’t go into daylight savings time already cranky and overtired. This will make the transition a little easier.
No, we are not suggesting forcing your kids to do hip hop (although the ChatterBlock crew isn’t afraid to break it down once in awhile). What we really mean is to start taking baby steps with your children well before the actual big day in order to prepare them for the schedule change. Our tried and true suggestion is to gradually move up the time your kids go to bed a few days out. Bumping up bedtime by 10 minutes everyday will help your kids adapt to the time change on an incremental basis. Even if little Bob or Sue don’t fall asleep any earlier the purpose of this act is to simply help teach their bodies to calm down and relax earlier in the day.
Light it Up:
As most of you know Melatonin is the hormone that helps our bodies regulate our internal circadian clock. This hormone increasing in the morning when it is light and decreasing when it gets dark in the evening. One suggestion to try with your kids if having them exposed to natural light as soon as possible when they wake up. Exposure to sunlight will differ dramatically depending on where your family is situated. If your family is lucky enough to live somewhere warm why not have your kids take your dog for a quick walk before breakfast. If the weather is still wicked and the windchill is keeping you hibernated maybe have your kids eat breakfast next to a large sunny window. Either way, exposing your kiddies to sweet, sweet sunshine is a sure fire way to help them adjust to the time change.
Unplug it Please:
It should come as no surprise that electronic usage needs be limited at least a half an hour before bed. It has been said that electronic devices stimulate brain activity and because of this have the potential to disrupt your ability to fall asleep. Additionally, the bright screen light on these devices may also hinder your ability to secrete melatonin (as mentioned above) which can make it more difficult to fall into slumber land.
With all of that being said it is 100% your decision on how to help your kids adapt to this upcoming time change. Just remember lack of sleep for children can affect their attention span, appetite and even overall mood, so cut the kiddies a little lack this Sunday.
If you have any other suggestions on how to beat daylight savings please feel free to share in the comment section below!