As we turn back the clocks on November 4th for Daylight Savings, it can be easy to fall into a disrupted sleep cycle. Children might face the most risk with these altered sleep habits, as even a few lost ZZZ’s can seriously disrupt their learning, mood, and physical growth.
Follow these five tips to ease the time transition for your kids and make sure they’re still getting the sleep they need.
1. Know how much sleep your kids need
Every child’s sleep needs are a little different, so knowing how much sleep they need to be well-rested is crucial, especially during a time change. As a standard, school-age children should be getting around 9-11 hours a night, while teens only need 8-10. You can narrow down your child’s individual needs by eliminating the alarm clock for an entire weekend while maintaining a consistent bedtime and seeing when they wake up naturally.
Keep in mind the recommended sleep length for each age group:
- Newborns need 14-17 hours
- Infants need 12-15 hours
- Toddlers need 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers need 10-13 hours
- School Age children need 9-11 hours
- Teens need 8-10 hours
2. Gradually shift wakeup time
Abruptly snoozing an extra hour can make your kids oversleep which is almost as bad as missing a few ZZZ’s. By upsetting serotonin levels, too much sleep can cause lower back pain, increased risk of future heart disease, and further disruption of your child’s circadian rhythm. Help them out by gradually transitioning their wakeup time over a few days. An extra fifteen minutes every day leading up to Daylight Savings can do wonders in maintaining their schedule and prevent any jarring changes.
3. Make sure they’re sleeping well
Whether they wake up later than normal on Daylight Savings, or have trouble falling asleep the next night, it’s important that the sleep they are getting is high-quality. Research has shown that well-rested children are better able to focus in school, memorize new facts, and avoid common illnesses. In comparison, poor sleep can increase a child’s likelihood of developing depression or anxiety, as well as behavioral issues. Therefore, it’s important to look after their bedtime habits.
A few comfortable pillows and warm, flannel sheets should do the trick on comfort, but it’s also important to keep their room as quiet as possible. If your children go to bed before you, try your best to keep any noises that could distract them to a minimum.
4. Spend time outside
A time change can disrupt your children’s natural circadian rhythms. The difference in sunlight throughout the day can shock their systems and keep them up later than they should be. Make sure they spend a significant amount of time outside during the day and in the evening leading up to, and after, the 4th. Luckily, the season offers a lot of family-friendly activities like visiting a corn maze, jumping in leaves, or going for a hike. This should help alter the body’s internal clock and ease the transition into the new time.
5. Relax before bed
The extra hour of sleep can make it difficult for kids to feel tired enough to fall asleep the following night. Combat this by trying out some relaxing activities with your child before bed. Reading, bathing, or writing can help your child relax, clear anxious thoughts, and lower their heart rate in order to fall asleep faster.
If you notice that your child has consistent trouble settling down, acts restless when you say goodnight or constantly asks you to leave the light on, they may have anxieties surrounding sleep. Treat this naturally with our calming Sleep Tight for Kids tincture. Its relaxing blend of Chamomile and Linden naturally ease the nervousness or digestive issues that often keep children awake at night and safely gives them the rest they need.
Whether you need to adjust or adapt these tips, do what you can to make sure you’re looking out for your children’s sleep during Daylight Savings.