This year the clocks change on Halloween night. On 31st October, the clocks go back an hour. Anyone without children can look forward to an extra hour in bed. But when it comes to clock changes and children, it can help to be a little more prepared.
How does the clocks change affect sleep?
When the clocks change it can cause disruption to children’s sleep patterns. The shorter days and darker evenings also impact on our schedule, so affecting our biological clock. What is a biological clock? Simply put, this is our bodies internal clock. It regulates when our hormones are released into our body. The melatonin that makes us feel sleepy and the adrenalin that makes us more alert. And the adrenalin that makes us more alert. Our biological clock works on a 25-hour window, and we only have 24 hours in a day! This is why routines and schedules are important for children. They keep the hormone release consistent to help our little ones sleep well and wake at the right times.
What to consider when the clocks change
There are a few things to consider when approaching the clock change. Some families decide to tackle it on the night and let children stay up a little later. For some children, after a few days, they will have adjusted nicely. But for others it can take a little more time. Here are some things for you to consider. We are trying to shift your children’s biological clock in preparation for the clocks changing. So first things first, use natural light to keep them a little more awake in the evenings. For example, go for a walk after dinner. Keep your quiet time and your routines in order as much as you can over the next couple of weeks particularly. We can’t avoid the teething, illness and other blips that get in our way, but we can control other things.
Think about bedtime
Start putting bedtime and nap times later by 10 minutes for couple of nights. Then shift it again by 10-15 minutes. In line with this, shift mealtimes too. The aim is that when the clocks change, you will be back to your normal routine and timings. Occasionally bedtime routines don’t go to plan for various reasons. However, on the run up to the clocks changing, put extra focus on keeping them consistent. Read the same number of stories and usual routine to settle your little one. Quiet time is so important on the run up to bedtime. Even having the radio or TV on in the background can be stimulating to your little one, making it harder for them to settle. Keeping this as calm as possible will help them fall asleep and get into deep quality sleep.
Changing the clocks on Halloween
This year we also have the added challenge of the clocks changing on Halloween. A couple of situations may arise from this. Firstly, at bedtime you might get a lot of people knocking on the door trick or treating. If you think this will disturb your child, then consider putting a sign outside. Or leave out bags of sweets to avoid the doorbell constantly ringing. Secondly, consider how much exposure they have to Halloween. Some children like the idea of Halloween, but then soon get scared. This can cause nightmares and difficulty sleeping.
Find out more
However you decide to approach the clock changes and Halloween, try not to feel anxious about it.Stay calm making the adjustments, as this will help you little one adjust too!
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