It is almost time to spring forward and begin daylight savings time. For some, this will be quite the adjustment. Sleep, meals, and daily routines will be thrown off schedule, but there are ways to prepare kids and yourself for the dreaded time change.
1. Start Early: Prepare for the time change a week or two in advance. Start with adjusting bedtime routines by 15 minutes and then increasing it until you have reached the full one hour.
2. Exercise: Encourage your children to get as much physical activity as they can. Staying active during the day will make it easier for their bodies to wind down at bedtime.
3. Reduce Screen Time: Using electronics before bed may affect your child’s ability to fall asleep. Screen time should end at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. If screen time is part of the bedtime routine, adjust the device to the night setting to reduce strain on the eyes.
4. Install Black Out Curtains: If your child has trouble falling asleep when it is still daylight, it may be time to install black out curtains. The curtains will darken the room, so it will appear to be night.
5. Limit Caffeine & Sugar: Sugar and caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep. If your child needs a snack before bed, offer foods rich in natural melatonin such as: eggs, nuts, milk, tart cherries, grapes, or oats (oatmeal, granola).
For more tips on how to smooth the daylight savings time change for your kids, contact your installation’s Child and Youth Program.