Spring is here and daylight saving time is around the corner.
In Europe, at 2am on the 26th of march, 2022, you will move your clocks to 3am. We will artificially lose 1 hour of sleep.
Here are basically 2 ways to transition to spring time:
First method: Act like it’s a normal day on Sunday morning and move your clocks to the new time when going to bed on Saturday evening. This is the easiest way. Then, just follow your daily routine according to the new clock, everything will just be pushed by 1 hour.
Second method: Split the difference, is more gentle and may be more appropriate for smaller children. You will then split the difference. For example if your child usually goes to bed at 7pm, put her to bed at 7.30pm (NEW time, or “artificially” 6.30pm winter time) for a few days, then switch back to the previous bedtime (7pm). You can also try bedtime à 7.30pm for a few days, then 7.15pm for a few days, then back to 7pm.
If you opt for the second method, don’t hesitate to start a few days before the official change to make it smoother on d-day!
This transition is often tough on many children who might get tired and cranky. Here are a few tips to make it easier:
- Live on new time as soon as possible: it will mean you will get lunch “earlier”, wake your children “earlier” first mornings after the time change, switch everything according to the new time immediately or every other day like for bedtime after time change.
- Naps are a priority: Make sure your child is getting good naps before time change happens so he’s well rested when the switch happens. Move their naps a bit back as you move their bedtime as well, so the wakeful windows stay a bit the same as before.
- Make it dark: darkness is always your friend regarding sleep, and things like blackout curtains or shutters will help ensure your children’s bedroom is as dark as possible. Remember with daylight saving time, there’s still light outside when your children go to bed and it can be difficult for them to understand it’s time to sleep and for their body to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone aka our very good friend). These will help your children find sleep more easily and sleep more soundly!
- Pay attention to wakeful windows during transition: your child might need a few days to adapt to time change, so pay attention to their wakeful window (time awake) and adapt nap time accordingly, so they stay awake about the same amount of time they usually do (we want to avoid them getting tired and fussy).
- Go outside! Getting natural light will help everyone’s internal clock reset faster!