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by: Erica Simon

The official end of Daylight Saving Time, as clocks are pushed back one hour, is this Sunday, November 6, at 2:00 a.m. It can be a tough time for kids since their little body is telling them it is time for bed, but they must still wait one more hour before bedtime. Here are some important tips that may help you make this transition easier for your whole family.

*Begin to put your children to bed 15 minutes later than the usual time. This is important because if you wait too long, your child will start to get too tired and there will be a cortisol rush in their little body. This will make it harder for your little ones to fall sleep. You can start to add 15 minutes to their bedtime on Thursday night. For example, if your baby’s bedtime is 7:00 p.m., put them to bed at 7:15 on Thursday, 7:30 on Friday, and 7:45 on Saturday. Once the time changes, your child will be going to bed at 7:00 p.m. (new time).
*It may be a couple of days before your child can settle into the new schedule so s/he may wake up early. Avoid letting your child start the day before 6:00 a.m. (new time).
*The transition will be harder for babies than for older kids, for older kids you may want to increment the time they stay awake by 30 minutes.
*If your child is still taking naps, make sure that they take good naps so the transition can go smoothly.
*This may be a good occasion to take advantage of the time change in order to get little night owls back on track with an earlier bedtime.

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When it comes to sleep, always remember to:

*Be consistent with your child’s sleep routine and sleep schedule.
*Have a sleep-conducive environment for your child, so try to use the bedroom for sleeping by limiting the amount of stimulating toys. I know that there are some very cute books that make noise but it is best to limit those for daytime.
*Have a sleep-conducive bedtime routine. My favorite bedtime routines are: for a baby, bath, massage, book and crib. For an older child, bath, massage, yoga, book, songs, and bed.

Note: now that it gets darker earlier, melatonin helps us and our kids feel sleepy earlier, so please take special care when running errands late at night. According to Phyllis Zee, MD, Ph.D., director of Northwestern Memorial’s Sleep Disorders Center, drowsy driving can lead to more accidents on the road.

It is very important to give our children the sleep they need because sleep deprivation can have many adverse effects on our children and ourselves, so this is a great time for us to also evaluate our own sleep habits.

Contact our office at 713-963-8880 for more information on sleep coaching.

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