If you take a look at your calendar, some of you would be surprised when you realize that daylight saving time is just around the corner; in fact, it’s only a matter of days before that time of the year. Daylight saving time means that everyone will be setting their clocks an hour ahead of standard time, from summer until fall to make use of natural daylight. Since the sun sets an hour later during these periods, there is more daylight during the evening. The practice of daylight saving began around a hundred years ago in 1918 and all states except Arizona and Hawaii observe this.
Are you ready for daylight saving time? Here are some helpful tips to make shifting your children’s sleeping schedules a smooth process.
Take Small Steps
When preparing your children for a new bedtime schedule, do not expect them to easily adapt to this once you set the clock an hour in advance. Adjusting their sleeping schedule will take some getting used to; so to help them adapt, gradually change your children’s bedtime to a later time then give them four days before having a new shift in the schedule. This will make the adjustment easier for your little ones. Aside from changing their bedtime schedule, also try to wake them up a little earlier. For some children, especially the older ones, it can be difficult to go to bed at an earlier time; if this is the case, you can just advance the time of waking up each day.
Avoid Caffeine in the Evening
Be aware of what you let your children eat and drink; prohibit your children from drinking soda, root beer, and other products that contain caffeine especially before bedtime. Also, avoid chocolate, energy drinks, and energy water since these contain stimulants. When shopping, make it a habit to check out the ingredients or contents of each product before purchasing these for your children.
Relax Before Bedtime
Take things easy and spend twenty to thirty minutes relaxing before putting your children to sleep. Try listening to music or reading a storybook. Do not allow your children to use gadgets before bedtime since this will stimulate them and keep them awake. Establish a routine before going to bed so they can easily get used to the flow of activities while adjusting to the new schedule. Also, avoid trying to make up for lack of sleep by napping since this will make falling asleep at night more difficult.
The change of schedule during daylight savings can cause short-term mood swings for children. During these days, be more forgiving and try to understand and support them. This will make things better as they adapt to the new time. However, while focusing on your children’s sleep schedule, you should also take care of yourself since adults tend to feel cranky and sluggish during the shift to daylight saving time. Ensure that you get sufficient rest to avoid getting irritable with your child. The transition process will be smoother and within a week or so, everything will be back to normal since these effects are short-lived.
Keep Surroundings Dark during Bedtime
During bedtime, ensure that your children’s rooms are dark enough to promote a good night time environment. This is vital to help your children fall asleep easier; even if light is still present outdoors. Melatonin production is stimulated by darkness which is why the bedtime transition will be much easier if lights are dim in thirty to forty-five minutes before bedtime.
Help Children with Sudden Awakenings
Your little ones may tend to find themselves waking at unusual hours as they adjust to daylight savings. In case this happens, encourage them to lye in bed and keep all the blinds or curtains pulled even if they fail to go back to sleep. This will eventually help them reset their body clock since the darkness sends sleeping signals that it is not yet time to wake up.
Bask in the Sun
Light suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, so ensure that your children are exposed to the light as much as possible during the day and avoid this before bedtime. As mentioned earlier, do not allow your children to use smartphones and tablets, or play video games an hour before bedtime. Although these activities are relaxing, the light from these devices prevents one from getting sleepy. Instead, encourage your children to play outdoors. With the coolest toys from Whistlecopter, your little ones will definitely enjoy many hours playing with these toys.
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