Sleep Tips to Mitigate the Fall Time Change
Avoiding disrupted sleep schedules because of the fall time change (when you "fall back" and set the clocks back one hour) by following some handy transition tips below:
- Gradual Adjustment: Start 4 days before the time change by gradually adjusting their schedule. Shift their bedtime 15 minutes earlier each day until you reach the new time. This gradual change can make it less disruptive.
- Keep a Consistent Routine: Stick to a consistent daily routine, especially with sleep and meals. Consistency helps children understand what to expect and can ease the transition.
- Expose to Natural Light: Natural light can help regulate your child's internal body clock. Try to get your child outside in the morning to receive natural sunlight, and dim the lights in the evening to signal that it's bedtime.
- Adjust Nap Times: If your child is still taking naps, adjust their nap schedule accordingly. If your child naps in the afternoon, a shift of 15 minutes earlier each day can help them adapt to the new time.
- Bedtime Routine: Maintain a soothing bedtime routine to signal that it's time to wind down and sleep. Activities like a warm bath, reading a book, or soft music can help prepare your child for sleep.
- Offer Comfort: Be understanding if your child has a little difficulty adjusting. Offer extra comfort and patience if they have trouble falling asleep or wake up earlier than usual.
- Blackout Curtains: Consider using blackout curtains in your child's room to minimize the impact of natural light in the morning, especially if they tend to wake up early.
- Limit Screens: Avoid screens (TV, tablets, smartphones) close to bedtime, as the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with sleep.
- Avoid Overtiredness: Try to keep your child from becoming overtired. Overtiredness can make it more challenging to adjust to a new schedule. If they miss a nap or have a short night, try to offer additional naps or early bedtime to compensate.
- Be Patient: Remember that it may take some time for your child to fully adjust to the new schedule. Each child is different, so be patient and flexible as they adapt to the time change.
It may take a few days for your child to fully adjust to the new schedule, so don't be discouraged if the transition is not seamless right away. The routine should be back to normal within a week.