Tips for Surviving the End of Daylight Saving Time

Victoria Chart Company - UK and USA clocks change back

In the eternal quest for a consistent and predictable sleep schedule, nothing can crush a parents’ soul quite like the end of Daylight SavingTime (DST). On Sunday November 1, 2015, we move the clocks back one hour to return to Standard Time.And while you may love the extra hour of sun light during the summer, many of us will once again question whether it’s worth it when our children start waking at 5:00 AM. A little planning ahead of time will help you navigate this upcoming change like a boss.

Guest post by Rebecca Earl of The Sugar Plum Sleep Company.

Here are my top tips for keeping everyone’s sleep schedules on track:

  • Split the difference Splitting the difference in the time change is an effective way to ease the transition. Here’s how to tackle each part of your child’s day:

         Naps  If your child typically naps at 12:00 PM, adjust it to 11:30 AM for 3 days after the change in time. (This will actually feel like a 12:30 PM start time.) This will be a bit of a push but is unlikely to disrupt their schedule too much. By the fourth day, adjust your child’s nap to the same time it was before the end of DST.

         Bedtime. If your child usually goes to bed at 7:00 PM, I recommend putting thatchild to bed at 6:30 PM for the first 3 days following the time change. (This will FEEL like 7:30 PM to your child.) On the 4th night, just get in line with the new time so that your child is back to going to bed when the clock says 7:00 PM.2.

  • Use a Digital Clock Waking up the morning after the time change can be mentally tough on parents. No one likes to see 5:00 AM on the clock! My recommendation is to wait to adjust your clocks until everyone has woken up. For children over the age of three, consider adding a digital clock in their room and put a piece of tape over the minute numerals. Set the clock forward half an hour so that at 6:30 AM, it reads 7:00 AM and encourage them to stay in bed until they see the number 7. At the end of the week they’ll be back on track and sleep until their normal wakeup time.
  • Limit Activities for a few days before and after the time change.Chances are good that the change in time will lead to some irritability and fatigue for a few days, so it’s important to take stock of your calendar to see if you can incorporate some more down time for the whole family. Don’t forget that Halloween takes place on the same weekend as the time change! Consider keeping a close eye on candyconsumption to avoid upset stomachs that might further interrupt their(and your) sleep.
  • Be prepared If you think your child will struggle with the change and could use some extra encouragement consider using a reward chart to help motivate them to stay in their bed in the morning. The Good Night Sleep Tight Chart is an excellent tool to use. Use the code SUGARP10 to receive 10% off your purchase!

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