It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that we moved the clocks back and now we are looking at moving them forward. Daylight savings time will soon be upon us and with that comes tired and cranky people especially babies and children. Spring forward means we lose an hour of sleep, which most of us cannot afford. We have two weeks to prepare and minimize the negative impact. Here are some tips to help you and your family make the transition.
A slow transition to a new bedtime can make things go a lot smoother when the day actually arrives. Start about a week before the time change and go to bed a 15 – 20 minutes early and add a few minutes each night till you reach the hour.
Adults should avoid long naps as that can make it harder to sleep at night. However, children would benefit from naps and try shifting the time as you are for their bedtime.
If light impacts on you or your children try using blackout curtains to keep the light out and to signal your brain that its time to sleep.
Avoid Coffee and Alcohol:
Hold off on any alcohol or coffee during the four to six hours before bedtime. Both alcohol and coffee can interfere with your sleep patterns and make it harder to adjust to a new schedule.
Once the time changes, open the curtains and let in some of the natural light as early as you can in the morning. The natural light in the morning will help set your internal clock.
Soothing Bedtime Routine:
No matter how old or young you are, having a relaxing bedtime routine that prepares your body for sleep will enable you to have a more restful sleep. You want to slow the body down, put the phone or tablet away, turn the TV off, and avoid high stimulation for your brain.