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Daylight Savings Time: Brace Yourself for the Time Change ⏰💤

Sasha Romary | Oct 17, 2023

Hey there! It's that time of year again - the end of Daylight Savings! On October 29th for Europe and on November 5th for the USA, the clocks will "fall back" an hour and all of sudden, 6:30am will be 5:30am. 😱

It sucks. I know. I don't like it either.

Since I have been fielding questions about this for weeks, I wanted to dedicate an entire post to supporting you all through this clock change.


What can I do in advance to make this as painless as possible?
It can sometimes help to gently shift your child’s schedule later, in small increments starting with bedtime 1-2 weeks leading up to the clock change. For example, if your child’s bedtime is typically at 7:30pm, you could follow the schedule below:

Day 1: 7:45pm bedtime
Day 2-3: 8pm bedtime
Day 3-5: 8:15 bedtime
Day 5-7: 8:30pm bedtime
Daylight Savings Day: 7:30pm bedtime

This will gradually shift their internal clock towards a later bedtime and gradually later wakeup time as well. The key is to encourage them to stay in their dark bed/bedroom for that extra 15 minutes in the morning as well for each shift.


What will happen if I do nothing in advance?
The clocks will change and everyone will be up an hour early but, honestly, this time change is like flying from Paris to London and dealing with an hour of jetlag. You probably wouldn’t prepare in advance for that. It'll be annoying, but our bodies are designed to adjust to time change. It is not the end of the world.


OK, so we are up at 5am. How should I adjust the sleep schedule after the clock change?
Aim to shift everything by 15 minutes towards the new clock time each day. For example:  Let's say you have a 9 month-old who is usually awake at 6:30am and then naps at 9am and 1pm. On Sunday, they'll probably be up closer to 5:30am. They'll be tired for their nap around 8am but stretch them til 8:15am and then stretch the second nap til 12:15am. Do the same the next day, but you'll likely be able to stretch a bit closer to the clock time because your child probably will wake up a bit later, maybe closer to 5:45am. Within a few days, they (and you) will be back on clock time. 


Any other tips to help them adjust faster?
Yes! Spend plenty of time outdoors during daylight hours. Natural light helps reset internal clocks, aiding in the adjustment process. Aim to adjust meals and your entire schedule with their sleep times to encourage the entire shift in their system. For those natural early risers, have quiet activities ready for when they wake up too soon. Books, puzzles, or calm playtime with dim light and in their bedroom can help buy you a bit more sleep.

Remember, this transition might take a bit of time, but you've got this! It is just an hour! Stock up on coffee and remember, whether you prepare in advance or wing-it day-of, you and your child will adjust to the new time.

If you need more personalized advice or have specific questions, feel free to reach out. I'm here to support you through this and any other sleep-related challenges. We're in this together!

Are you struggling with sleep and would like a 1-1 chat to help you navigate your sleep challenges? Book a session with me HERE and let's talk about it! 

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