Tips to Help Ease the Transition of Daylight Savings Time
– Help your child get ready by talking about the change ahead of time. Let them know what day it will happen and that it will be getting dark earlier or later in the day.
– Create a social story and walk them through what to expect. Contact your OT or speech therapist if you would like help finding a social story.
– Talk about to specific objects or events. For example, explain that it may be dark when you eat dinner now and that is okay.
– Start shifting your child’s bedtime a week before the actual time change.
– Shifting in 10-15 minute increments can be easier than shifting an hour on the night of the change
– If your child goes to bed at 8:00 PM, 7 days before the time changes, shift their bed time to 7:50 PM. Each night, move their bedtime up 10 minutes. Once the time changes, their body will likely be more used to the time change and it will be easier to fall asleep at their normal bed time.
– Keep your child active during the day. Exercise can help the body in adjusting to a new routine and schedule.
– Do not change your routine when daylight savings happens. Keep activities consistent so your child knows what to expect.
– If you eat dinner at 6:00 pm, continue to eat at 6:00, despite the time change.
– Put them back to bed if it is not time to get up. They may not go back to sleep, but this will help them re-establish a routine.
– Limit exciting activities and screen time before bed. They can affect sleep quality.
– Encourage your child to read or quietly draw to get their body ready for bed instead of doing energizing activities
– Dim the lights before bed time. This can help regulate your child’s circadian rhythms.
– Give your child positive feedback or a reward for good behavior.
– Be patient! The time change can be difficult for everyone. Allow your child a few days to a week to readjust and a routine will likely reestablish.
-Kayla House, OT