Going to bed when the sun is still up doesn’t always seem like a great idea to a five year old. Suddenly losing an hour of sleep when the clocks go forward can be particularly hard for children who are already struggling with insomnia or other sleep problems. However, it is possible to make the change a little easier for your family.
Coping with the Clocks Going Forwards
The effect of the clocks changing is usually worst when they go forwards, as this means that we lose an hour of sleep rather than gaining one. If your child has insomnia or is very sensitive to changes in their routine, prepare for the change by gradually shifting the time when you put them to bed. Move it by 15 minutes every night: for an 8pm bedtime, start at 7.45 on the Thursday before the change, then 7.30 on Friday and 7.15 on Saturday. On Sunday night, you’ll effectively be putting them to bed at 7pm, but the clock change will have shifted this forwards to the normal 8pm bedtime.
More Tips for Clock Changes
* Make sure that your child’s bedroom is as dark as possible when they go to bed. Blackout blinds are a great way to do this when the sun is still out.
* Try getting up earlier on the day of the change or doing something active during the day as it will help children feel ready for bed at an earlier than usual time.
* Don’t just adjust the bedtime routine. Shift mealtimes, bath time and other routine activities too so that everything feels as normal as possible.
* Don’t be surprised if your kids are a bit groggier and grumpier than usual. You might be feeling the same way yourself, especially if you are suffering from insomnia.