When the clocks roll back this Sunday, we’ll gain an hour of sleep. While this may seem like a bonus, parents can attest to the fact that helping children to adjust to the change can be tricky. With kids who have difficulty adjusting to changes in routine, the best method may be to start to prepare in the week leading up to the time change, by pushing bedtimes, wake times, and nap times back 10-15 minutes at a time every few days. Beyond that, there are some steps you can take as a family that will ease everybody into the darker (cozier!) months of winter.
Try these tips to beat daylight savings fatigue:
Fight the Light
For the initial adjustment period, consider investing in blackout curtains to block the extra light in the mornings. Make sure the window coverings in your child’s room are drawn tight, as children can be particularly sensitive to light and have a hard time resting through the extra hour of light.
Tire Them Out
This is where the struggle of adjustment can be fun! Because bedtime will feel like it’s an hour too late, your family’s evening routine might be more difficult. If you wear your kids out with plenty of physical activity in the late afternoon following Daylight Savings, they’ll be less resistant to bedtime and quicker to fall asleep when it rolls around. With temperatures cooling down and the sun setting earlier, outdoor playtime may be harder to come by. But indoor versions can be just as fun and can involve the whole family more than when the kids are outside on their own. Playing tag in the basement before dinner time for example, can ensure some extra energy exertion, as can trying an instructional yoga video together in the living room.
Soak it Away
The absolute best segue from your indoor yoga attempts, is a soak in your Beachcomber! Whether you choose to do this after physical activity, as a way to calm your muscles, or right before bedtime as a way to relax before sleep, the calming effect of hydrotherapy can help you achieve a deeper and more restful sleep. The caveat with using physical activity to wear out your kids is making sure that you cap it off at least 30 minutes before bedtime, as your child’s mind and body will be in active mode before bed otherwise. The calming warmth of swirling hot tub water can make it easier for that active mode to fade. And everyone will benefit from sharing family time in your Beachcomber!