Daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 12, 2017
Springing forward and falling back can trip up even the best laid bedtime plans. Here's a guide for adjusting your child's schedule for minimal disruption and maximum ZZZs.
During the spring, the clock moves forward an hour, so we lose an hour. For adults and teenagers, this typically means losing an hour of sleep. When we get up on Monday morning at 7 a.m., we feel tired because our internal clock says it is 6 a.m. It can take some individuals weeks to feel rested again in the morning.
Children may need some guidance to adjust to the change in schedule. The good news for the parents of young children who wake too early is that often the child starts sleeping later in the morning after daylight saving time begins. For a child who has been going to bed at 7 p.m. and rising at 6 a.m., this is the perfect opportunity for the parent to change the child's sleep schedule if a 7 a.m. rise time is desired. The parent must be ready, however, right from the first night after the time change, to consistently put the child to bed at 8 p.m. Make the child's room very dark, and add white noise to the room (if there is significant noise in the home in the morning from others getting up), such as an air purifier, fan or white noise machine. Then it should be effortless for the child to sleep until 7 a.m.
If a child had been going to bed at 8 p.m. and rising at 7 a.m., he or she is likely to appear wide awake on Sunday night at 8 p.m. after the time change because his or her internal clock says it is only 7 p.m. The parent should consider allowing him to stay up until 8:45 or 9 p.m. for one to three nights. During this time, the parent may have to awaken the child in the morning between 7 and 7:30 a.m. if the parent wants the child to start going to bed at night again by 8 p.m.
By Nancy Birkenmeier, BSN, RN. Nancy is a pediatric sleep nurse with the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital. If you need help with your child's bedtime or sleep patterns, contact the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital at 314-205-6030.
St. Luke’s Hospital is an independent, nonprofit healthcare provider committed to improving the quality of life for its patients and the community. In its 150-year history, St. Luke’s has grown from a single hospital location to an advanced network of care. It provides personalized healthcare services in over 60 specialty areas at its 493-bed hospital in Chesterfield, Mo. and offers 25 other locations across the greater St. Louis area, bringing quality healthcare services close to home. St. Luke’s is nationally-recognized for quality care and consistently earns high patient satisfaction scores. In addition, St. Luke’s is the exclusive St. Louis affiliate of the nation’s No. 1 heart hospital, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. For more information, visit stlukes-stl.com.