Help Your Child Transition Through Daylight Saving Time

Help Your Child Transition Through Daylight Saving Time


Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D., a sleep expert, shares how to ensure your child gets enough sleep during daylight saving time.

What can parents do to help transition their children through daylight saving time?

Having your child go to bed 15 minutes earlier over the next few nights will help them adjust—maintaining that consistent bedtime and wake time is so important—and just be prepared for grumpy children on Monday morning. There is really no way around it, but if you then have an early bedtime on Monday night, they’ll start to get back on their routine in just a couple of days.

Do you have tips for parents on helping kids overcoming that grumpiness?

Just being prepared for it, being patient with your children, and again having that consistent bedtime. And expect that Monday night, they're going to need to go to bed a little bit earlier. Same thing on Tuesday night, and by Wednesday night they should be back on track.

What kind of environment is best for sleeping children?

Bedrooms should be cool, dark, and comfortable. And now that it is going to be lighter a little bit later in the day, that dark part is really important, so ensuring there are blackout shades on the windows is very helpful. For older children, ensuring that the bedroom is technology free is also very important. Not only is technology very engaging, it also emits a lot of light and makes sleep onset harder. And, same as with babies, make sure their rooms are cool and dark and comfortable.

Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D., is an associate professor of pediatrics at National Jewish Health and an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is the co-author of Pediatric Sleep Problems: A Clinician’s Guide to Behavioral Interventions, and currently serves as the Sleep Education Fellow for the National Sleep Foundation.


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