How parents can prepare kids for daylight saving time

Posted at 4:19 PM, Mar 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-10 16:19:10-05

Northwest Arkansas – We spring forward this weekend and some people enjoy the extra sunlight, but it can really mess with your kids sleep schedules, reported KFSM. 

This extra hour of daylight in the evenings makes it hard for a lot of children to fall asleep.

“If they typically go to sleep around 7 p.m, we are not going to be asking them to go to bed at 6 p.m. and it’s also light out. So, for a lot of kids this can be a difficult transition,” Dr. Laureen Benafield said.

Pediatrician Dr.. Laureen Benafield said if you have a child who typically wakes up early it may be nice to have them sleep until 7 a.m. instead of 6 a.m.

She said for school age kids it may be harder for you to wake them up in the mornings. Dr. Benafield said parents, if you haven’t already been transitioning your kids.. it’s a little late.

“Since now we are kind of at that time, really not expecting them to go to bed at 7 p.m if they typically have a 7 p.m. bedtime. It’s probably a little bit unrealistic to think that they are going to have the same bedtime. Maybe slowly backing it up by 15 or 20 minutes,” she said.

So if your child has an 8 p.m. bedtime, you try putting them to bed at 8:30 p.m. for a period of days before they adjust to it and then slowly backing it up.

“It takes a week or two for their sleep-wake cycles to adjust and just really lightness and darkness are your best aids. So trying to keep it sort of darker before bedtime, less screen time, you know more time to wind down,” she said.

For mom of two, Carole Masterson, this time of year is a struggle. She said they start her daughter’s bedtime routine earlier and read extra books to try and calm her down.

“My son, we’ll do the same thing with him. He’s 5 years old but it will probably take him a few weeks to adjust. He’ll just be grumpy in the morning and he’s just very sensitive to the time change,” Masterson said.

Another tip for making the transition easier is turn off overhead lights and use softer lighting close to bedtime and in the mornings make sure and turn on plenty of lights.