Daylight savings time will end on November 5th this year. Parents mostly worry about daylight savings time in the spring when we push our clocks forward and lose a precious hour of much needed sleep. “Falling back” doesn’t always mean an extra hour in bed. It never fails that the time change has an effect on our children and sometimes a drastic one! But the right plan can help you and your kids handle the transition easier.
The hour shift in daylight savings time is equal to an hour of jet lag. Rule of thumb is it takes one full day to adjust to just one hour of jet lag. Sometimes it can take longer, and waking up in the middle of the night is common for children.
Studies have shown that young children have a difficult time “falling back,” while teens have a harder time “springing forward.” To help ease the transition, move your child’s bedtime to 30 minutes later for three days before the time change. Once the time changes, return to your child’s old schedule. Your child may not sleep the extra 30 minutes but this approach will make the transition easier.
Another strategy we suggest is spending as much time in natural light as possible. This will help regulate you and your children’s rhythms. It will help you all regain energy and maintain your mood. Consider turning the extra hour you gain into a “no screen time” hour.
All in all, remember to give yourself grace. There’s no “one” right way to handle transitions such as these, and every family and child is different. We hope our tips help, and hope that we all get the sleep we need in that first month of November!