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How to Help Your Children Cope With Daylight Savings

When my youngest daughter is sleep deprived, we jokingly call her “babyzilla.” Her meltdown begins with a rearing of the head, a widening of the eyes, and shrills that make the hair stand up on your arms. And with daylight savings time rearing its outdated head, our babyzilla anxiety level naturally increases exponentially. What can we do to keep our children from becoming overly sleep deprived during daylight savings?

daylight savings tips

One of my most referred to childhood sleep experts, Dr. Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child reminds parents that, “Sleep is a powerful modifier of mood, behavior, performance, and personality.”

Understanding the critical importance sleep plays in our lives, here are a few tips to help daylight savings time sleep deprivation in our children:

Move bedtime up.
Over the next several days, move bedtime up by 15 minutes or so before daylight-saving time begins. This strategy is a bit too late to institute, but you can at least start the bedtime routine earlier in order to trigger those bedtime cues, such as warm baths, lavender-scented lotion, quiet reading, etc.

Have a consistent bedtime and routine.
The consistent bedtime and routine will provide a sense of normalcy even though things are not the exactly the same. The National Sleep Foundation claims that routines before bed help children sleep more soundly.

Darkness = Sleep (usually).
For our bedtime routine, I’ve always kept both of my daughters’ rooms dark (with a nightlight). However, with daylight savings time and the echoing of children playing on our street, this “weapon of darkness” is extra helpful when the sun is still shining bright at bedtime.

Now, what should you expect in the behavior of your child over the next few weeks? According to Weissbluth, “Well-rested children should have no problem adjusting. If your child does not adjust within a few days, it’s most likely due to an accumulated sleep debt. Try an earlier bedtime for at least one week to get your baby back on track.”

With these daylight savings time change strategies in my hip pocket, I’m confident we can decrease those moments our sweet angel morphs into “babyzilla.” I know as parents, we look forward to bedtime just as much as our children require sleep to be healthy and happy.

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.



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