It’s Daylight saving, the clocks are going forward on Sunday 29th of March at 1 am. Despite Coronavirus, the rhythms of life continue. Don’t forget to adjust your sleep cycles. A good night’s sleep is very important at this time. It’s one of the very best ways to remain healthy! As I offer Sleep Consultations, here are my sleep tips.
Why is getting a good nights sleep so important now!
All of us want to remain healthy through the pandemic. It’s a good time to remember that one of the very best ways to maintain a strong immune system is to get a good night’s sleep. (There’s a lot of complicated-sounding science behind why this is, but it has to do with “T-cells” being better able to fight infected cells when stress hormones are low. And stress hormones are at their lowest when we are asleep!)
You and your Children may have Problematic Sleep right now
This is an anxious and strange time. Fears may be located in sleep disturbances. The amygdala — a brain region that processes emotional events — becomes overactive when you are tired. Negative emotions may come naturally to us at night. You might notice your child may show:
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Resistance in going, delaying going to bed
- Clinginess and more night awakenings, nightmares
Please note sleep training alone does not address your child’s fears. This is why it can be ineffective.! This is why I work with helping you and your child manage the fears first, then we can do sleep training safely!
How does Daylight Saving Affect all of us?
Daylight Saving and how it affects Adult Sleep
Even though we only lose an hour of sleep, if you are already sleep deprived, this is going to hurt. According to the National Sleep Foundation may even make us feel as if we are a little bit jet-lagged for the first week. That’s all everybody needs right now!
Your body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm) may be thrown off course, which can affect how much sleep-inducing melatonin is released and when.
Tips to help adults and Teenagers from Dr. Craig Canapari ( I really like his Sleep Book, It’s Never too Late to Sleep Train ( he kindly gave me a copy) he recommends:
- Most teenagers and adults will benefit from getting up an hour earlier the day after “springing ahead”
- In addition, always get up at the same time that day, even though you ar your teenager may want to lie in.
- You or your teenager may benefit from a nap but ensure it’s no longer than 20 minutes, otherwise you will not be able to sleep later.
Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning
Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning, this may help to trick your internal clock into thinking that nothing has changed and you can get moving.
Daylight Saving Sleep Tips for children
Hurrah, you will have some respite, so if your child normally rises at 5.30 am maybe they will rise at 6.30 am instead.
Adjust Sleep Times
It’s a bit late for this but it can be helpful to adjust their sleep time tonight. You can try putting your child to bed five to 15 minutes earlier every few days leading up to the start of daylight savings time. By the time you move the clock forward an hour, your child will already be used to going to bed at an “earlier” time.
Try to keep to the same schedule
With Coronavirus and self-isolation, sleep routines are probably not your priority but getting enough deep sleep will help you to maintain your health. Wake your child up at the same time each day. Instead of letting your child sleep in after moving the clocks forward, wake them up at the same time they usually wake up (even if it is really an hour earlier).
For school-aged children, avoid naps
Many parents make the mistake of allowing their child to have a nap during the day following daylight saving, DONT, your child may not be sleepy at bedtime.
Adjust blinds and lighting
Invest in dark blinds and Amber/red Spectrum lights rather than blue spectrum lights ( led lights and screens!!!) in the evening blue light seems disruptive to sleep at night. We know that exposure to blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there’s some experimental evidence (it’s very preliminary) that lower melatonin levels might explain the association with cancer.
This is a difficult time right now. Try to ensure you have a good healthy sleep routine, sleep is so important especially now. This could be the time to really tackle your child’s and family’s sleep. I am continuing to offer Sleep Consultations and a free 45 minute Parent Zoom Sleep Workshop, on Monday the 6th of April, time to be arranged ( please contact me if you want any questions on Sleep) follow me on my Facebook page to be notified or email me to add you to my newsletter list. Please do share this post too, Wishing you good health, safety, and peace. With much love Catherine