How Daylight Savings affects Sleep

Daylight Savings is here! Most parents don’t mind it so much when they are gaining an extra hour, but it sends shivers through parents’ bones when they are about to lose an hour of sleep. 

Daylight Savings not only affects children’s sleep patterns, but adults too! It really does have an effect on all of us, and if not managed correctly, it can increase sleep debt – especially in children, who tend to be more structured with going to bed at the same time and waking at the same time each day.

This Sunday, October 1st we will need to wind our clock forward one hour. So, what is the best way to handle it? My advice is to “split the difference”. 

My recommendation to all parents is to adjust naptime and bedtime for the first couple of days. So, if naptime was usually 9:30am, it’s now 10am. The same goes for afternoon nap and bedtime. If bedtime is usually 7:00pm, then make it 7:30pm. This will mean that your baby is going to bed a little earlier than their usual “awake time”, but again it’s not soo much so that it’s going to interfere with their schedule too much. It may take them a little longer to fall asleep, but it should only take a few days and their natural body clock will adjust accordingly. 

It is important to provide a nice dark room when it is sleep time, and also allow lots of morning sunlight to signify day time beginning.