Spring has sprung, and whilst lighter, brighter days are welcome, the clock change can disrupt your little one’s sleep schedule, leaving everyone feeling a bit out of sorts. But fear not. I’m here to guide you through a smooth transition, so your children (and you) adjust to “springing forward” with minimal disruption.

By Keri Rock, Child Sleep Consultant & Holistic Health Coach , Sleepy Mums
  • The Science of Sleep

    Our sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm, is a complex internal clock regulated by light exposure. Sunlight suppresses melatonin production (the sleep hormone), keeping us alert during the day. Darkness triggers melatonin release, prompting feelings of drowsiness and preparing us for sleep. When British Summer Time disrupts this natural rhythm, it can take several days for both you and your children to adjust.

  • Three Ways to Conquer the Clock Change:

    • Gradual Adjustment:This method involves shifting your child’s sleep schedule in 15-minute increments in the days leading up to the time change. This slow adjustment mimics the natural shift in daylight and can help ease them into the new routine.
    • Moderate Shift:Go for slightly larger adjustments of 30 minutes earlier for bedtime and wake-up times a few days before the change. This approach can be quicker than the gradual method but may require more patience during the initial adjustment period.
    • Embrace the Flow:Some families choose to forgo adjustments altogether and simply go with the flow on the day of the time change. This can work for older children or flexible sleepers, but younger children might struggle with the sudden shift.
  • A Smoother Transition

    • Embrace the Light:Maximise exposure to bright light during the day, especially in the morning. Open the curtains as soon as your little one wakes or have playtime outdoors. This helps regulate their circadian rhythm.
    • Power Down at Night:Create a dark and relaxing sleep environment at least an hour before bedtime. Dim lights, avoid screens that emit blue light, and establish a calming bedtime routine. Consider blackout curtains for a light-free sleep haven.
    • Consistency is Key:Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even at weekends. This helps your child’s body adjust to the new daylight hours and reinforces healthy sleep patterns.
    • Be Patient:Allow your body and your child’s body time to adapt. It can take a few days to a week to fully adjust. Don’t get discouraged by initial sleep disruptions – these will subside as your circadian rhythms realign.

    Above all, embrace the spring sunshine, prioritise restful sleep for your whole family, and enjoy the longer days.

About Keri Rock:

Keri Rock is a certified Child Sleep Consultant and Holistic Health Coach for Mums, passionate about helping families achieve healthy sleep habits. With her expertise and personalised approach, Keri empowers parents to create a holistic sleep environment that allows both them and their children to get the restful sleep they deserve. You can follow her on instagram.com/sleepymums,  or listen to her Podcast: The Sleepy Mums Club.

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