|4 Tips for a Healthy Sleep Routine for Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time will begin on March 8, and we will see the clocks move ahead one hour on the second Sunday in March. Many parents begin to worry if this time change will negatively influence their children’s sleep patterns, and if so, what can they do about it. Pediatric sleep consultant and founder of Baby Sleep 101, Joleen Dilk Salyn, offers the following 4 tips for parents to help encourage or maintain a healthy sleep routine through the Daylight Savings Time transition.
1. Allow nature to help
A child’s body is regulated by different body clocks, or circadian rhythms, and the master clock (suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN) is located in the brain close to the optic nerve. This means the SCN is influenced by the changes in light throughout the day. Therefore as the time change happens, a child’s body will naturally make the adjustments over the course of about a week. Exposing them to the morning sun can help to further encourage this process.
2. Gradually shift your child’s routine
Parents who have a solid routine in place for their child, and don’t want it to alter, can choose to shift their child’s routine in small increments leading up to the time change. Start several days to a week before and slowly move the child’s schedule earlier each day, including nap, meal and activity times. This way, the child’s entire internal clock is being reset, easing the sleep routine shift.
3. Be flexible
Sleep is biologically based and influenced by internal rhythms, therefore the first few days after the time change may see a child taking a while to fall asleep. To help ease the child into the new routine, a parent can put them down 30 minutes later (on the clock) for the first few days after the time change.
For instance; if a toddler previously napped at 1pm, the new 1:00pm would feel like 12:00pm to their body. Caregivers could put the child down at 1:30pm (which would feel like 12:30pm) for a few days after the switch, to help facilitate sleep onset. After 4-5 days, the nap could once again start at 1:00pm.
4. Protect the new routine
As summer approaches, so do earlier sunrises and eventually morning song birds. Children are more easily roused out of sleep during the4-6am hour as melatonin and sleep drive levels are at their lowest points.
To help protect a child’s new routine, ensuring they have a quality sleep environment will be the best defense. Playing white noise in their room and investing in black out blinds can help to promote a natural wake up time, rather than waking too early from outside disturbances.
To schedule an interview with Joleen Dilk Salyn, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joleen Dilk Salyn is a certified pediatric sleep consultant and founder of Baby Sleep 101. She helps tired parents get their children sleeping through the night by working with the science of sleep and healthy sleep best practices through private consultations and customized sleep plans and support.
She is a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants and in addition to her certification as a sleep consultant, also holds a Bachelor of Education, and Post Baccalaureate in Education. Joleen is also a mother to two wonderful children, ages 2 and 4.
Visit www.babysleep101.com for more information or tune into The Baby Sleep 101 Facebook page for a free live weekly child sleep Q&A from 8pm-9pm CST every Wednesday night.
Change in Date:
Potty Training Made Easy
Monday, March 30, 7-9pm, Scripps Mende Well Being-UTC
In the midst of our frustration over diaper change or accidents, it's easy to forget that all children will eventually learn to use the potty. Make this transition stress-free for you and your child by learning the ins and outs of potty training from an expert, Nonie Levi, MFT. You'll learn how to tell when a child is ready, how to encourage your child to use the potty and even when to call it quits for a while until your child is truly ready to get down and potty. This event is free for Parent Connection members, $10/nonmembers. Register here.
Yoga and Wellness Workshops
Sunday, March 15 - 1-4pm, Scripps Mende Well Being-UTC
Join wellness coach Tami Spence and Kundalini Yoga teacher Aerial Anger for a 3-hour experience. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat and blanket. There is a $10 minimum donation per session (50% of proceeds will be donated to water.org).
This class will incorporate movement, breath work and breakout sessions focused on detoxification. It's time for a little spring cleaning as we clear the clutter that no longer serves us in order to make more room for the things we really want in our lives. You'll learn some simple techniques, easy detox foods and everyday lifestyle practices that will clear up your body, mind and spirit. You'll walk away with an understanding of how to incorporate easy detox practices into your daily life and a little extra spring in your step as a result.