Today I’m sliding in with a bonus episode all about daylight savings time. Pre-kids, daylight savings meant snagging that extra hour of sleep in the morning. With tiny humans, daylight savings has the potential to be tricky. I’m coming in with two plans, Plan A—if you want to prepare and make changes ahead, and Plan B—if you want to see what happens and adjust from there.
The two biggest factors in sleep are LIGHT and SLEEP PRESSURE (stay tuned—we are diving deep into sleep pressure in next week’s episode). So we are going to use light to our advantage. If you’re planning ahead, we’re going to start four days prior to daylight savings time and start adjusting by 15-minute increments. So both NAPS and BEDTIME will be adjusted to help preserve the correct sleep pressure and prevent overtired kiddos. At night, when we are trying to keep our kiddos awake, we want lots of light. 30 minutes prior to our goal bedtime we may dim the lights a bit. And 15 minutes before the goal bedtime we want very little light (no blue light!). And in the morning, we want to keep it dark until the 15-minute adjusted goal wakeup time. This helps cue our kiddos’ body clocks to stay awake or stay asleep depending on what we want.
I want to caution against trying change things too fast, or just “pushing through” and keeping our kiddos up a whole hour later on the night of DST. It is likely you’ll end up with tiny humans who are producing cortisol to try to stay awake, which then suppresses melatonin and culminates in a sleep disaster. By using four days to push back slowly in 15-minute increments, our kiddos’ body clocks have a chance to adjust and end up matching the adjusted time clock.
I walk you through all of this in our daylight savings freebie. Snag it at seedandsew.org/resources. You will also find our Fab Five Sleep Products if you need help creating the ideal sleep environment (black our curtains, anyone?!) and a Birth to Five Sleep Guide if your sleep routine needs some tweaking. If DST totally sets you back, I’ve got you with DST sleep packages.