By TMoM Team Member Sarah Marchwiany
It’s that time of year again: Daylight Saving Time (DST) is coming to an end. What’s the best part about Daylight Saving Time? Gaining an extra hour of sleep in the fall (even though your kids probably won’t let you sleep in).
When Does Time Fall Back?
On Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 2:00 a.m. local time, we’ll all “fall back” one hour. That means that our clocks will be set back one hour, and the sun will rise and set one hour later than it does now hopefully giving us an extra hour of sleep. If only we could do this every Monday!
Why do we have Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall. The goal of DST is to conserve energy by making better use of daylight hours. However, the practice has been controversial in recent years, with some people arguing that it disrupts sleep and has other negative health impacts causing some states to get rid of it. DST was first introduced in the United States in 1918, during World War I. The goal was to save energy by making better use of daylight hours. DST was made permanent in 1942, but was repealed in 1945. It was then reinstated in 1967, and has been in effect in most areas of the US ever since.
How do I prepare my child for Day Light Saving Fall Back?
The time change can be disruptive for children, especially younger kids. Their sleep schedules can be thrown off, and they may have trouble adjusting to the new bedtime.
Here are a few tips for preparing your child for DST Fall Back:
- Start adjusting your child’s sleep schedule a few days before the time change. Go to bed and wake up 15 minutes later each day. If your baby is on a feeding schedule you might need to adjust those times too.
- Keep their sleep schedule consistent, even on weekends.
- Make sure your child gets enough sunlight exposure during the day. Encourage outdoor play. This will help to regulate their circadian rhythm.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. This will help your child to wind down and prepare for sleep.
- Create a dark and quiet sleep environment.
- Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks before bed.
- Limit Screen Time: Reduce screen exposure, especially in the evening, as it can interfere with falling asleep.
- Use a Time-to-Rise Alarm Clock* to let them know when it is time to get out of bed.
How long does it take kids to adjust to DST?
Most kids will adjust to the time change within a few days. However, some kids may take longer. Be patient if they are crabbier than usual during this period. Try to stick to consistent routines to provide a sense of stability.
Enjoying the Extra Hour
While the time change can be a temporary adjustment, it offers a silver lining: an extra hour of quality time with your loved ones. Use it to create cherished memories, whether it’s a cozy family breakfast, a leisurely stroll in the autumn air, or simply snuggling up with a good book. Remember, the key is patience. Daylight Savings Time is a part of our annual schedule, and with a little preparation, hopefully, it can be a seamless transition for both you and your child. So, get ready to “Fall Back” and enjoy that extra hour!
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