How To Help Older Kids Through Daylight Savings
Michelle Brown | Nov 3, 2023
Daylight Saving Time (DST) can affect older kids in much the same way it does younger children and adults. The main impact of DST is a shift in the clock, where we "spring forward" by setting our clocks ahead by one hour in the spring and "fall back" by setting them back one hour in the fall. This can disrupt sleep patterns and circadian rhythms for people of all ages, including older kids.
Here are some ways DST can affect older kids and how to manage it:
1. Sleep Disruption: The change in time can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle of older kids. They may have difficulty falling asleep at their usual bedtime or waking up in the morning.
2. Fatigue and Irritability: The shift in time can lead to temporary fatigue, mood changes, and irritability. Older kids might feel groggy or more restless during the adjustment period.
3. School Performance: If the time change occurs on a school night, it can impact a student's ability to concentrate and perform well in class. Teachers and parents should be understanding during this transition.
4. Time Adjustment: Encourage your older kids to gradually adjust to the new time by going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier each day in the days leading up to the change. This can make the transition smoother.
5. Consistent Routine: Maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends, can help regulate your child's circadian rhythm. This consistency is important for older kids, just as it is for younger children.
6. Limit Screen Time: The use of electronic devices, such as phones, tablets, and computers, before bedtime can interfere with sleep. Encourage your older kids to limit screen time in the evening, especially during the adjustment period.
7. Exposure to Natural Light: Exposing your child to natural light in the morning can help regulate their internal body clock. Sunlight helps signal the brain that it's time to be awake and alert.
8. Be Patient: It may take several days for older kids to fully adjust to the time change. Be patient and understanding if they experience difficulties with their sleep or mood.
Make sure to reach out to our sleep coaches for help with getting sleep back on track!
Kids 5-10 Joan Sleepytime (ihelpmoms.com)