How to Survive the Clocks Changing

March 26, 2015 Published by

This weekend we’ll adjust our clocks by one hour (don’t forget!) For parents this can spell disaster for bedtimes! Here are Fundamentally Children’s tips on how to cope with this change. 

The clocks changing on Sunday means we'll loose 1 hour of sleepThe clocks going forward one hour may not seem all that big a change for you and your family, but for many parents who have every hour accounted for, or are battling sleep deprivation, losing that hour can be an issue. Time changing will throw important routines out of sync for several days and the knock-on effect can lead to grumpy, irritable and difficult to manage children (and adults!) as they re-set their internal clocks. Here are a few tips to survive the clocks changing this spring.

Daytime Routines

Get plenty of activity the day the clocks go forwardsPlan your day in advance and help your little ones transition to the new schedule.

Invest in a Gro-Clock and teach your child about when it is OK to get up and the importance of sleep.

Set an alarm and make the most of the sunlight to naturally shift your body clocks to the new wake up time. Don’t be tempted to lie-in: getting up at the usual time will help you adjust faster and help children be tired for an earlier bedtime.

Keep in mind that everyone may not be hungry at the usual lunch time so aim for a later lunch and push your evening meal back a bit too.

Bedtime Routines

Sleep tight when the clocks changeKeeping to the same bedtime routine and altering the time slowly over several days can work best.

Using the new time for your child’s bedtime can backfire as they may not be tired enough to sleep. Allowing them to stay up an hour later until they are ready for sleep will mean no arguments at bedtime.

Adjust their ‘lights out’ time by fifteen minutes each night and you will gradually ensure your child’s bedtime routine stays successful and that no-one is left lying awake in bed.

Prepare for lighter evenings and use black out blinds or thicker curtains to make your child’s room darker and promote a good night’s sleep.

Tips for Parents

It’s not just children who need a bit of planning to change onto the new time, parents should also make an effort too.

Make sure the day the clocks go forward is a busy one and tire everyone out earlier than normal, yourself included!

Be sensible, go to bed early and catch up on that hour’s sleep. Don’t rely on being able to sleep later the next morning as it won’t be long before your children will rise at their usual time again.

Preparation is the key here and it can be a good time to refresh your family’s routines. Address any sleep issues as soon as they arise and don’t let your own tiredness influence your parenting. Look forward to having more sunshine in your life, plan to enjoy the lighter evenings ahead and don’t let losing one hour have too big an effect on your family.

Photos: Geraint Rowland, Duncan Hull & My aim is true

Do you have any tips to add? We hope you enjoy the extra hour of evening daylight- we’re one step closer to Summer! 

 

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This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer

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