Daylight savings can cause a whole host of problems for families of preschoolers. Sleep disruptions, trouble waking up in the morning and irritability are a few issues families deal with every spring and fall.
Interestingly, these time changes are implemented by 70 countries worldwide and affect more than one billion people. However, daylight savings continues to be viewed in a negative light, (no pun intended), as people of all ages struggle to adjust.
With a little planning and forethought, you can help your children ease through the transition and hopefully lessen the negative effects daylight savings has on your family. Here are a few tips to consider:
Get enough sunshine
Without enough sunshine, your preschooler might experience sleep issues or feel restless or moody throughout the day. That’s because people were created with an internal clock that responds to the amount of sunlight they get. And when it comes to daylight savings, children who get enough sunlight will likely transition easier than those who don’t.
Here are some easy ways to help your kids get enough sunshine during the day:
- Eat lunch outside.
- Take a family walk before dinner.
- Read or play near a bright window.
- Fetch the mail together.
- Involve them in gardening or yard work.
Implement a “calming” hour
Whether it’s daylight savings time or not, implementing an hour of calming activities before bed can be highly beneficial for families of preschoolers. Kids respond well to routine and this is one addition to your evening schedule that can benefit the whole family.
Here are a few calming ideas to implement:
- Turn off all electronics.
- Turn off overhead lighting in favor of warm lighting.
- Set up a reading corner with pillows, blankets, and books.
- Turn on instrumental or classical music.
- Set out drawing materials and coloring books.
Implementing a calming hour before bed can help families transition into daylight savings and create an evening routine that is enjoyed by everyone.
Ease into a new bedtime
In the weeks leading up to daylight savings, adjust your preschooler’s bedtime by 15-minute increments. Especially during the spring forward phase, you can transition to an earlier bedtime which will keep your kids on their regular sleep schedule. For example: Instead of putting your kids to bed at 8:30 p.m., you’ll gradually move their bedtime to 7:30 p.m. This small change can make a big difference when adjusting to the time change.
Close the curtains
When it’s still light outside, kids will be more resistant to going to bed. Hang heavy curtains or black-out shades in their rooms so their brains will process that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. Just be sure to open the shades during the day to let in the natural light. Consider making it a part of your child’s routine, to open and close the curtains every morning and evening.
No matter what your age, daylight savings can be an adjustment. Make it easier on your family by implementing these tips for a seamless transition.