Getting squared away with the time change is a struggle, and kids are no exception. Certified pediatric gentle sleep coach Erin Anderson said it’s normal for kids to feel a little off up to a week after Daylight Saving Time.
Anderson owns The Sleepytime Teacher in the New River Valley and specializes in ages six and under, but also works with school-age kids. In her experience, most children tend to adjust to springing forward better than falling back when Daylight Saving Time ends in the fall.
To help your little ones become a better sleeper, make sure their room is dark enough — blackout curtains make a big difference. Another one of Anderson’s recommendations is to limit screen exposure to at least an hour before bedtime; that’s a rule that adults may want to follow, too. For young kids still taking naps, make naps a priority during the daytime. Anderson also suggested get outside first thing in the morning. Exposing your child to natural light when they wake up.
The biggest thing to remember is to set up a bedtime routine that includes soothing activities like a bath, singing their favorite songs or reading a book.
“That helps send signals to your child’s brain that it’s time for sleep so by starting that routine about 30 minutes before their desired bedtime that gives them enough time to whine down for the day and prepare their bodies for sleep,” said Anderson.
Stress surrounding the changes and challenges from the pandemic like remote learning could also make it harder for kids to get great sleep. If your child was having difficulty falling asleep well before the time change and weeks after it Anderson suggests reaching out for help because there may be other factors to consider.