Springing Forward: Tips to Ease the Effects of Daylight Saving Time for Your Child

On March 8th, the clocks will spring forward and we will lose an hour out of the day. This change can be challenging for everyone, but especially for children with Autism, who tend to have difficulty with routine changes. Here are a few tips that can help ease the effects of daylight savings and help your child to adjust quicker.

1.Discuss the change ahead of time

The time change can be very confusing for children. To give your child time to adjust to the idea,  discuss what the time change is, and when it will happen. Discuss how the day might seem different and answer any questions to alleviate any stress about the change.

2. Allow for plenty of activity during the day

Your child might have difficulty falling asleep an hour earlier than usual. To help build your child’s sleep pressure before bed, have extremely active days around Daylight Saving Time. This might include extra time at the playground, or an extra round of soccer in the backyard. 

3. Plan to spend time in the sun

One way to help mitigate the effects of Daylight Saving Time is to spend more time in the sun, especially in the morning. The sunlight in the morning can help adjust your child’s circadian rhythm and help make the adjustment to Daylight Saving Time a little bit easier. Open the shades first thing in the morning to let sunlight into their rooms. 

4. Use a bedtime routine

For the first few days, falling asleep can be challenging; your child will feel that they are going  to sleep an hour early. To help combat this feeling, create or stick to a bedtime routine. The best bedtime routines are done every night, and are a calming routine. Warm baths, soothing music, and bedtime stories are great ways for your child to unwind before bedtime. To help your child unwind before bed, keep electronics out of the bedroom. 

5. Begin the change a few days early

Kids can be confused by the time change on March 8th. To help lessen the adjustment, make the change in 10-15 minute increments for a few days before Daylight Saving Time. This means putting your child to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each day leading up to Daylight Saving Time.

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