Would you believe it? Despite the chill in the air and the brash winter wind, “Spring Time” is nearly here and with it, the clocks change!
Love it or hate this time of year can yet again play havoc with your little ones’ sleep schedules! Not to mention that this year some bright spark has decided to mess around with the clocks the same day as Mothers Day!
When the clocks change on the 31st March it means having to put your child to bed one hour earlier than they would normally go.
Falling asleep one hour earlier is an impossible task, as you are essentially asking them to go to sleep in the forbidden sleep zone. It’s like asking them to apply your makeup – it’s guaranteed to go badly!
Luckily here are 4 options you can take to avoid problems when the clocks change.
4 approaches to help reduce the impact of the clocks change
1. Do Nothing
Doing nothing essentially means you will have a winter and a summer schedule – this is principle is great if you don’t have any commitments to get out early in the morning but it might be a tad tricky if you have a job/school that starts at the same time every day and staying in bed one extra hour is just impossible!
2. Start Preparing in Advance
Four days before the clocks go back, start by moving your children’s schedule earlier by 15 minutes each day. This will mean if your current sleep schedule is 7.30-7.00, start by putting your little one to bed at 7.15 PM and waking them up at 6.45 AM. I know this might sound a little crazy as it will mean waking your child up in the morning, but trust me come Mother’s Day when you want them to wake up at your new target time and not the old time, this gradual approach works perfectly.
3.The Quick Approach
If you are after a quick approach then on Sunday 28th March you will want to wake them up 30 minutes earlier than you would normally get up, and then on Monday wake them up another 30 minutes earlier . It will also help to move your meals and bedtime earlier by 30 minutes each day too.
4.Harness the Power of Light
This approach involves dimming the lights in the hour prior to bedtime. This means no outdoor playtime and no exposure to bright screens or bright lights in the home. Dim lights in your home will help your child’s hormonal regulatory system to produce more melatonin making them more sleepy.
Welcome Relief When the Clocks Change
For those of you whose children are currently waking at an uncivilised hour e.g. 4.00-5.00, spring daylight savings might be a welcome relief. Essentially you will change the clocks but keep their schedule where it was. Instead of sleeping from 7.00 PM to 5.00 AM they will now be sleeping from 8.00 PM to 6.00 AM. This will not only mean longer in bed in the morning, but it will also give you an extra hour of cuddle time in the evening should you have been out at work all day long.
The key to this strategy will be ensuring your child’s room is dark in the morning. If you go into their room and can still see your hand in front of you with the door closed and the lights off then chances are the room is too light. Don’t forget light is a very powerful wakeup cue and even the smallest amount of sunlight will wake your child up.
So there you have, it a selection of approaches, all tried and tested to help you beat the clocks change in a couple of weeks time.
Do let me know how you get on and what works best for you? Most importantly, have the most wonderful Mother’s Day.