Sunday, March 13, will mark the switch to Daylight Saving Time as we set the clocks forward by one hour. The transition is more challenging for many than its ‘fall back’ counterpart because it feels like we're losing an hour of sleep as we adjust to an earlier wake time. However, we eventually adjust and make up for this temporary loss as we fall into an earlier bedtime.
This is an important time to remember to plan ahead to make healthy sleep a priority and reduce incidents of daytime drowsiness. Rich Scott, CRT, Sleep Lab Clinical Coordinator in the Respiratory Therapy Department at Crossing Rivers Health, recommends these tips to help ease the adjustment to Daylight Savings Times.
Adults may want to go to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual on Thursday, 30 minutes earlier on Friday and 45 minutes earlier on Saturday before Daylight Savings Time begins. Eliminating all caffeine after 1:30 p.m. throughout the week will also make it easier to go to bed earlier. If possible, also avoid alcohol during the weekend, which negatively affects sleep.
Now that you have your plan in place, you can think about preparing your baby or toddler for the challenge of a new sleep schedule. One of the best ways to prepare your child for Daylight Savings Time is to make sure they are getting good naps for the few days before the time shift. You want to set them up for success by ensuring they are well-napped, so that they are not extra cranky headed into the weekend.
Follow your daily routine according to the clock, but everything will be pushed ahead one hour. On Saturday evening simply move your clock ahead an hour after your little one is in bed. Do yourself a favor and change every clock in the house at the same time. Sleep-deprived parents need to take extra precautions to help this change work smoothly!
For some children, especially young babies, making the one-hour change will be overwhelming. Maybe they already have an early bedtime or they are not napping well. You know your child and may even dread this next week! The goal is to get back to your child’s normal bedtime and daily routine. Though, it may take as long as a week. This is because your child’s inner clock is fighting to stay on Standard Time.
For more information about healthy sleep habits or having a sleep study performed at Crossing Rivers Health, please contact Respiratory Therapy at 608-357-2000 or visit crossingrivers.org