How to Use the Spring Time Change to Get More Sleep
Can Daylight Saving Time mean MORE SLEEP for parents? The start of Daylight Saving Time in the spring is often met with anxiety. The Spring time change is associated with losing an hour of sleep. Especially if you have to get up for work at a particular time. However, for parents with babies and young children, the Spring time change can be a delight. Since little ones can't tell time, they may actually sleep in an extra hour (or seem to.) The time change can also be good news for early risers too.
HOW PARENTS CAN GET MORE SLEEP?
There are two ways you can use the time change to get more sleep.
1. The Sleep in. On the weekend, you can manage bedtimes so your child sleeps in, at least in the short term. Keep in mind that 6am will now be 7am. As long as you put your child to bed at the normal time on Saturday night. Make sure YOU go to bed earlier than normal, that way you can enjoy a lazy Sunday Morning.
Don't forget to move your clocks forward one hour before bed if they don't change automatically. Starting Sunday night, try to keep your child up until their usual bedtime (the new time) however, if you see they are tired before that, then put them to bed and gradually push the bedtime later over the next week. So if your child normally goes to bed at 7pm (new time will be 6pm), if they can't stay awake until 7pm, put them to bed when tired, if that ends up being 6:15, then every night, try to keep them up for an additional 5-10 minutes until they are once again going to bed at 7pm or you can accept a slightly earlier bedtime.
2. Resolve early rising with the time change. If you child has been waking up early, especially before 6am, you may be able to keep them on the old time so they sleep in an extra hour or so.
To preseve the later wake up time, keep your child's room dark and expose your little one to bright light when they wake up in the morning at the new time. Bright or outdoor light exposure during the day will also help promote a later schedule. Especially, being exposed to bright light before the bedtime routine starts. And lastly, try to keep your child from getting overtired before bedtime. For more details: "Spring" Time Change - Good News for Early Risers
DO I NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE TIME CHANGE?
Probably not. Most babies, children and adults will adjust naturally to the new time within 5 days simply from exposure to sunlight and regular daily activities, whether you use a gradual transition or not. Some people are more sensitive to these changes and taking steps to gradually acclimate to the new time can help but for most people it is not necessary. Gradual transition steps
While most of the world may be grumbling about the start of Daylight Saving Time, as parents you can relax and possibly enjoy a bit more sleep. The Spring time change is usually a smooth transition for familiies with young children and may even result in a bit more sleep. My best advice for parents is relax, go to bed early on Saturday night yourself, and enjoy a lazy Sunday morning!
Are Sleep Services Covered by My Benefits?
Our clients have been asking this for years and finally we can say YES! We now have a Registered Nutritionist on our team so if your extended health care benefits/insurance covers Registered Nutritionist then you can get reimbursed for our Sleep Consultations and Mini Consultations. We have a number of Ontario Public School Teachers and Royal Bank employees among others who have taken advantage of this. Find out more
Saturday, March 9th - 3pm EST (12pm PST) - Time change, early rising & Q & A
Monday, March 11 - 2pm EDT (11am PDT) - Adjusting Bedtime & Q & A