Sleeping Tips For The Time Change

Fall is here, and it‘s that time of year when turning the clocks back strikes fear into the heart of every parent that has struggled with his child’s sleep schedule. So what’s the best way to help our kids (and ourselves) deal with the time change?

When the clocks change in the fall and the spring, the body’s internal clock will adjust on its own, but there are a few ways we can help the process.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: A consistent sleep schedule will help regulate the body’s sleep cycle. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily, even on weekends.
Keep your child well-rested: Waking up between 5:30 and 7:00 a.m. is considered appropriate and normal. If your child is waking up earlier than this prior to the time change, this could be an indication he is overtired. So keep an eye on your child’s routine and suggest regular naps and an age appropriate bedtime to ensure he is caught up on sleep.
Move your child’s routine forward: To smooth the transition to the new clock time, begin to shift your child’s routine ahead in small increments during the week leading up to the time change. You may decide to move ahead every day by 10 to15 minutes, or make a change every second day to allow for a period of adjustment. To be most effective, it’s important to shift his whole routine forward, including meals and playtime.

With cooler weather ahead, it’s also time to reset some sleeping habits.
Here are two ways to use this time change to make sure your child gets optimum rest:
Adjust the temp: Make sure your child’s bedroom is the optimal temperature for a restful sleep (between 60 and 68 degrees).
Clean your vents: Clean your vents will prevent allergies or a nighty sneeze attack triggered by dust, pollen or other particles.

Also, try to follow these sleep practices on a regular basis:
Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual: Soft sheets, room-darkening shades and relative quiet can help your child differentiate between day and night, making it easier to fall asleep.
Daily exercise: Kids need to be physically active, and research shows they sleep much more readily when they’ve had an hour to run around outside and breathe fresh air.

Does your child have sleeping disorders?
Changing time, feeling the gradual drop in temperature and adjusting habits are some of the factors that can cause sleeping disruptions in children. The most common disorders include patterns of refusing to get into bed, not settling into sleep, waking up at night, and/or simply not getting enough sleep. When sleeping disorders occur regularly, they can provoke irritability during the day and can negatively affect the child’s development.