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4 Tips to Better Adjust Your Child to Daylight Savings Time

Published in Pediatrics, Sleep Medicine, For the Health of It Author: Jill Amsberry,DO

Daylight Savings Time often signals the beginning of spring and the start of more daylight during waking hours. It can be a joyous time for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

While the change can be positive, it also can take a toll on healthy sleep routines for days or weeks to follow. It’s particularly challenging for people with small children at home. If you’re trying to get your child back on track with their sleep schedule, here are some tips you can try.

  • Don’t expect your child to be ready for bed an hour early if you haven’t been slowly adjusting their schedule. You’ll want to set bedtime back 15 minutes gradually each night until you reach the desired bedtime. It may take a few nights for your child’s natural circadian rhythm to adjust.
  • For children who are old enough for electronic devices, limit screen time before bed. You’ll want to turn off all blue lights anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes before bed.
  • Keep a consistent bedtime routine that’s short and sweet. If you normally bathe your child and read a book before bed, make sure you keep doing that. Children who can’t tell time will use these cues to let them know bedtime is approaching.
  • Keep bedtime calm and relaxing. Cleanup, homework, and next-day prep should happen before you start the bedtime routine.

It may take a few weeks before your child fully adjusts to Daylight Savings Time. If you’re concerned with your child’s sleeping habits, make an appointment to speak with your child’s health care provider.