5 Essential Tips for Helping Kids Get Quality Sleep During Daylight Saving Time 

As adults, we understand the importance of a good night’s sleep and the impact it has on our overall well-being. However, getting adequate sleep is even more important for children and young adults, even if they fight it with every ounce of their being. 

Insufficient sleep can affect every aspect of a child’s life, from their mood and behavior to their physical health and safety. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, behavioral challenges, poor decision-making, loss of cognitive ability, and even long-term health issues like obesity and heart problems. Additionally, tired children can disrupt household dynamics, leading to increased tension and stress for everyone involved. 

With “Sleep Awareness Week” approaching from March 10-16, coinciding with the transition to Daylight Saving Time, it’s a perfect time to review strategies that support sleep health. Here are five practical tips for parents to implement as we face the loss of a critical hour of sleep during Daylight Savings or in preparation for other schedule changes: 

  1. Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine: Create a predictable bedtime routine that includes calming activities like bathtime, reading, and turning off electronics. Consistency is key to signaling to the child’s body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. And just to eliminate the temptation, remove electronic devices from bedrooms during the night. 
  2. Gradually Adjust Bedtime: Ease into the time change by gradually adjusting bedtime and waking times in the days leading up to daylight saving. Shift bedtime and wake-up times by 10-15 minutes each day to help children adjust more smoothly. These minor changes will likely be met with less resistance than a drastic change all at once. 
  3. Optimize Sleeping Conditions: Evaluate the child’s sleeping environment to ensure it’s conducive to quality rest. Consider using blackout curtains to block out daylight and a white noise machine to minimize disruptions from household noises. 
  4. Monitor Diet and Hydration: Limit sugary snacks and caffeinated beverages in the evening, as they can interfere with sleep quality. 
  5. Create a Calm Bedtime Atmosphere: Use bedtime as an opportunity to connect with the child emotionally. Instead of discussing worries or concerns at bedtime, address them earlier in the day, allowing bedtime to be a time for soothing stories, cuddles, and reassurance. 

By implementing these tips, parents can help children in their care establish healthy sleep habits, ensuring they wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. Prioritizing sleep health not only improves the child’s overall well-being but also contributes to a harmonious and supportive family environment. 

Sources: stanfordchildrens.org, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia