Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2010. At this time, our clocks move ahead one hour and we all lose an hour of sleep. Springing forward can have an impact on the sleep patterns of both children and adults. Montreal Children’s Hospital sleep specialist Dr. Evelyn Constantin says: “It is perfectly normal if your child has trouble falling asleep the few days following Daylight Saving Time. Since the clock has moved forward an hour, your child may not be as sleepy or as tired when bedtime rolls around. As a result, it may take a little longer for your child to fall asleep in the first few nights after the time change.”
To help your child adjust, Dr. Constantin offers these tips to ease the transition and keep sleep deprivation to a minimum.
You can gradually adjust your child’s bedtime prior to Sunday’s time change, by moving your child’s bedtime forward 15 minutes each night. For example, on Thursday night, put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual, do the same on Friday and Saturday. Therefore by Sunday night, your child is right back on schedule.
Parents can simply decide to maintain their child’s regular sleep, wake and nap times. Keep in mind it could take your children a few days to adjust to the time change. As a result, they may be crankier than usual.
No matter which approach you take, Dr. Constantin says your child will adjust to the time change within a few days to a week. And remember, the tips above apply to mum and dad too! Parents need a good night’s rest just as much as their kids.