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How to Adjust for Daylight Saving Time

Alarm clockDon’t forget, everyone. Daylight Saving Time is coming up this Sunday, so remember to set your clocks back an hour when your go to bed on Saturday night, and enjoy that extra hour of sweet, rejuvenating shut-eye.

Oh, wait? What? You have kids? Well then, never mind the extra hour of sleep. Chances are, the only thing this annual time change means to you is that you’ll be laboring to adjust their sleep schedules.

Personally, I wish we could just do away with this antiquated practice. All due respect to Benjamin Franklin for coming up with the idea, but given the increased rate of heart attacks, workplace injuries and missed appointments it causes, I’d suggest it’s outlived its usefulness.

But, alas, I don’t make the rules, so instead of grumbling about it, we might as well just focus on squaring away our kids’ schedules as quickly and efficiently as possible.

On that note, here’s my advice for readjusting your family’s internal clocks over the coming week.

When you wake up tomorrow, go about your day as usual. Get the kids out of bed at the same time you normally would. (That’s the “real” normal time, and not the “new” normal time. In short, once they’ve slept the same length of time they normally would have.

During the day, turn your clocks back half an hour. (You don’t have to actually set them back, just keep it in mind for bedtimes.)

Stick with this routine for about four days, and then follow up with the next imaginary half hour on Thursday or Friday night.

If it works immediately, great! If not, your kids will still have the weekend to adjust before heading back to school on Monday.

Some people have told me that they find this technique works best if they make 15-minute adjustments over the course of four nights. I’ve had better success with the half hour technique, but hey, whatever works for your kids is the right way to go.

Most importantly, keep the adjustment in mind when it comes to daytime naps and your bedtime routine. Bath time and stories need to start half an hour later so that your kids are physically and mentally ready for sleep by the time you put them to bed.

With a little luck and preparation, you might just find yourself savoring that extra hour of sleep after all.

Oh, and one little addendum. Remember to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If DST does serve one practical purpose, it’s the annual reminder to switch out your worn down 9 volts.

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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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