Daylight Savings Time and Sleep

The first thing I was going to write here was that I was pretty sure the person who first thought up Daylight Savings Time did not have children, but then decided that I really should find out before I wrote that.  Turns out the first person to suggest Daylgiht Savings Time was named George Vernon Hudson and he did have a daughter!  Mr. Hudson did shift work and had a large collection on insects, which he worked on during the day and this led him to value after-hours daylight.

Okay, I thought that was interesting, but you’re probably not here for a history lesson are you?  So let’s get to it – what can you do to make the transition easier on you and your child?

On Sunday November 2nd, we set our clocks back one hour, thus ending daylight savings time.  When we did not have kids, this was the time 2013-03-05_21-18-43_377we got excited about – you gain an hour and get to sleep later!  With kids, that does not happen – they still wake at the same time.  And it can be even more frustrating because now all the clocks say an hour earlier – so if they normally wake at 7, now it appears as if they woke at 6!

If your children are normally good sleepers and are a little bit older, you can automatically adjust them to the new time on Sunday.  This will mean that they will be going to bed an hour later than normal though, so you need to be careful with this and make sure they do not get overtired.

I prefer to gradually switch the time your child goes to sleep to gradually adjust them to the new time.  You make your child’s bedtime later by around 10 minutes every 2 day and after 12 days, your child’s bedtime will be an hour later and they will also hopefully be waking an hour later.  You could also do 15 minutes every 2 days and that would take 8 days to make the change.  Adults can also do this gradual shift!

The idea with the gradual shift is to not allow your child to get overtired at bedtime.  If your child is overtired at bedtime, they are more likely to wake during the night and earlier in the morning.

Will you take the gradual approach with your child?

by Michelle Winters
SleepWell Sleep Solutions


4 Thoughts on “Daylight Savings Time and Sleep

  1. Pingback: Daylight Savings Time & Sleep

  2. I was so happy when I read this advice for the first time. I had never thought of it, and of course it worked!

    Today my child went to bed so early that he seems to have ended daylight savings all by himself. I’m pretty curious at what time he will wake up in the morning…

  3. Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how relieved I am that it’s Nov.3 OH WAIT I got a 10K run on Nov. 3 Damn it!

    Great tips, I used to gradually break the kids in too. Now they’re teens and complain but when they were little it did work quite nicely.

  4. I am already feeling the effects of daylight savings. It’s so dark in the morning it’s nearly impossible for me to get out of bed!

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