Tips For the End of Daylight Saving Time for Children
It is that dreaded time of year again!
Sunday, November 6th, 2022, @ 2:00 am, is the END OF DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME. Why is it such a dreaded time of the year for some folks?
What is Daylight Saving time?
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of advancing the clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months. in the Fall, we return to Standard Time with the idea that societies can use daylight for health and happiness and to save energy. On the second Sunday in March, most of the United States and 80 countries around the globe "Spring Forward."
The upside to this controversial practice is that it stays light later, which means more time outside in the warmer months. It also means that many parents lose track of time at bedtime for their kids because it gets dark late, and it's great to be outside having fun in the Spring and Summer! The downside to this practice is that we "lose" an hour of sleep, often disrupting our internal body clock, called Circadian Rhythms.
Daylight Saving Time ends in the Fall, on the first Sunday of November. This year the end of DST is November 6th at 2:00 am 2022. We set our clocks back and gain one hour. The end of Daylight Saving Time is when we return to Standard Time. We "Fall Back" - one hour.
Why do some dread this time of year if we all get another hour of coveted sleep? Well, you may gain an hour, but you will most likely still wake up at your usual time the next day, which will be one hour earlier than you usually do. Falling asleep and waking up earlier can be difficult until your body adapts to the new time.
When we "Fall Back," my phone rings off the hook. Parents fear that with the end of Daylight Saving Time, their child's sleep will fall apart. They worry that their child's fantastic sleep schedule will disappear and that it will be tough to get back on track. Some parents don't worry, but others who have struggled with their child's early morning waking issue for a long time feel that the odd change in the clock time can be pretty anxiety-producing!
Let's imagine you have a child who wakes up at 5:30 am every day. Your kid will now be waking up at 4:00 am! That is difficult but now is the time to really work on the early morning waking issue. You may already have a great sleeper who sleeps until 7:00 am, but that blissful number will soon slide to 6:00 am. How do we help our children get through the time change without it being terrible?
The first step to an easy transition during the End of DST is to watch what you think and say about the topic. If you think the time change will be awful and everyone will be overtired and derailed and the family's sleep will fall apart, it may be harder to make the transition. Mindset is everything when it comes to sleep. That goes for our children's sleep as well as our own. No good comes from thinking or saying things like "This is going to be awful" or "My child's sleep will be so messed up."
Stay positive. You can think, "This is like Jet lag, and if I stay consistent, my child will adapt well and fast." In addition to your new positive mindset, there are practical tips to follow. Stay consistent, follow these steps to help you with the time change!
"Fall Back" - Tips for the end of Daylight Savings Time
Saturday night, put your child to bed at the regular bedtime.
Your child will end up waking up 1 hour earlier on Sunday morning. Get her up and start your day at this time.
If your child does not nap, put her to bed at her regular bedtime (current clock). It may be challenging to keep her up, but try hard.
If your child naps, put your child down at her regular nap time on the current clock. You will be stretching her a bit, but you want to get her on the new time change for the nap. Tuck her to bed at her regular time (current clock) that evening.
Children usually take a couple of days to get the hang of the new time.