Daylight Savings Time is Ending Soon

October 24, 2011

Happy Monday everyone!

It’s a beautiful day here in Northern Michigan.  The sun is bright in the sky, shining against the large waves that are rolling in – like diamonds dancing on the water.  Having said that, it is not a particularly good day to be out on the Great Lakes.  As always, I pray for our sailors’ safe travels as they pick up and deliver freight and passengers to the many ports along our coasts. And thank you to those who bravely serve in our US Coast Guard stationed on the Great Lakes.  It will soon be time for the Ice Breakers to begin their winter work.    As we think about the change of seasons, I begin to think of clocks and how we view our daylight hours.

Daylight savings time is ending a week from this coming Sunday , November 6th. It is another mark our approach toward winter.   If you are a parent of small children, you know that the time change cycle is difficult for our young ones.  As adults who have traveled, we understand the feeling of jet lag and how it takes our bodies several days to adjust to a new time zone.   Children have these same feelings and issues when the times changes back and forth between standard time and daylight savings time.  We see sleep disturbances, eating issues, behavioral problems just to name a few.  When my children were young, a few of my friends and I were having a play date with our children and this topic came up for discussion.   Among us, we decided to try this simple time change adjustment.  It worked for us – I hope it works for you also.

In the fall, it is pretty easy because we are moving back, but in the spring when we move forward (and lose an hour of sleep), this becomes more clear.  But, let’s try it this fall and then we will be prepared for the spring forward.

Approximately  2 weeks prior to the time change, begin to move bedtime toward the new time in 15 minute increments.   For 2 to 3 nights make the first 15 minute adjustment.  15 minutes is easy for the body to adjust and it is not a major one time bedtime argument.  Children’s bodies will not be bothered by 15 minutes.  In 2 to 3 days, make another 15 minute adjustment.  Continue 2 more times so that by a night or two before the time change, the children have already changed their internal bedtime to the new time.  Even though this takes some planning on the parent’s part, my friends and I felt that this solution saved days of poor behavior, sleepy and confused children.

I highly recommend this simple solution to the time change.   If you try it, I would love to hear how it worked for your family.

Enjoy the fall colors and all the wonderful fall produce.

~Dr Wendy~


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