When the clocks go forward at the end of the month it can really affect some children’s sleep patterns, others make the one hour transition without any problem at all. In the Spring the clocks move forwards which means that we can lose an hour of sleep, there are things that you can do however to plan for this and help your child to make a smooth transition to British Summer Time.
Plan the clock change the previous week and start to put them to bed 10 minutes earlier than usual.
You will also need to wake them up 10 minutes earlier in the morning.
Slowly shift the time each day so that by the time the clocks change your child has adjusted to the new bedtime.
It is also important to bring mealtimes, bedtime routines and naps in line with the new timings by shifting them to 10 minutes earlier each day too.
By gently moving the routine by 10 minutes each day, by the time the clocks change your child will be going to sleep at their usual time.
If your child is school aged and this is tricky to follow then try to move the sleep schedule over the weekend. If their bedtime is normally 8pm, they may for example go to bed at 7.30pm on the Saturday night and then move them another half an hour to their usual 8pm bedtime on the Sunday night.
Light and dark play an important roles when it comes to sleep. Darkness helps us to promote the sleep hormone ‘melatonin’, so darken the environment in the hour before bed and avoid screen activities. Open the curtains in the morning to make it as bright as possible and allow natural daylight to flood the room.
Stick to a routine as it helps to support your child’s biological clock, do the same things at the same time each night.
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