Daylight Saving Tips for Parents
Daylight Saving Time is one of the most dreaded times of the year, alongside those in-law visits and dental cleanings. You’ve got your family’s nighttime routine down, everyone is getting at least some sleep, and on good nights - you even get a couple of hours to yourself. And then Daylight Saving Time comes around and messes everything up. Help get on track this time with our tips for parents on how to adjust to Daylight Savings. (And scroll down on how to save an additional 10% off RestoreZ natural sleep supplements!)
Why Daylight Saving Time Sucks for Parents
Each spring and fall, the clocks “spring forward” and “fall back” an hour - throwing all that hard work you put into creating a routine out the window. But just because the Uniform Time Act mandates a time change, that doesn’t mean a child’s body agrees. For most kids, all they know is that they’re used to getting up and eating at one time, but it’s actually happening at another. That, and Mom and Dad are the meanest people on the planet. (At least, that’s what his meltdown says!)
So what is happening? Their little circadian rhythms are thrown off, as are their parents’. The circadian rhythm, our bodies’ internal clocks, is set to a regular cycle of wake and sleep, energy and rest, rejuvenation and rest. When Daylight Saving Time swoops in, parents have to deal with epic meltdowns, less sleep, and a general feeling of exhaustion because the body’s sleep and wake cycles are impacted.
And while most people feel the effects of the end (or beginning) of Daylight Saving Time, it’s often parents and young children, who have very specific routines and sleep times, who are most affected. As any parent knows, any small wrench in the normal flow of things can completely unravel a perfectly pleasant day. Our tips for parents on how to adjust to Daylight Savings will hopefully get you through the change in peace.
Stick to the routine
As the age-old adage goes, “The show must go on.” Even when the clock is an hour off, it’s important to stick to a normal bedtime routine. Once the clock strikes bedtime, take the kid(s) through their normal routine; bath, books, bottle - the works. While a child’s circadian rhythm will be thrown off by the time change, the familiar routine will signal that it is, in fact, bedtime.
Understand that it’s not just sleep that’s affected
The circadian rhythm doesn’t just dictate a child’s sleeping patterns, it also affects energy, hunger, and mood. So yes, the “witching hour” will get a little witchier, and mealtimes may also be affected. Sticking to normal meals and foods will help children return to a balanced state sooner, but you may notice heavier appetites and an increased need for snacks. Serve foods with extra protein to help children’s bodies adjust. And this applies to parents, too — there’s no shame in eating ants on a log or extra peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the kids!
The circadian rhythm, for most people, is closely aligned with the rise and set of the sun. While outdoor activities should be a daily event, they’re especially important around the end of Daylight Saving Time. Exposure to sunlight helps increase serotonin, the body’s feel-good hormone, which also signals the body to release melatonin as the sun goes down. This natural cycle between serotonin and melatonin is important for circadian rhythm balance — and it’s all connected to fresh air and sunlight. So get outside!
Put down the devices
Studies show that children as young as 2 years old are logging up to 3 hours a day in front of a screen. Alarming all on its own, screen time can be especially detrimental to a child’s sleep cycle during Daylight Saving Time — and to adults’ sleep cycles as well. Because the blue light from screens suppresses melatonin, your child’s device use may throw circadian rhythms out of balance even further. While the clock “falls back,” try to limit screen time before bedtime; studies say to shut off screens one hour before you try to go to sleep.
Help yourself get back on track
Kids are resilient! Even after a week of terrorizing parents as their bodies adjust, they return to their normal routines and dispositions like nothing ever happened. Parents, on the other hand, might feel the effects of Daylight Saving Time for longer. Adults need more rest and energy as they age, which is no picnic when it’s time to soothe a crying child at 2 a.m. All of this deepens the impact that DST has on a parent’s circadian rhythm, which then affects cellular repair, mood, metabolism — all of it.
While we can’t all have a toddler’s ability to bounce back, we can support our damaged sleep cycles by using a circadian rhythm sleep aid. Unlike over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids that knock you out (a no-go for parents of small kids!), RestoreZ’s line of circadian rhythm sleep aids gives a parent's body what it needs to realign to its own circadian rhythm — without forcing the body to sleep.
RestoreZ sleep aids gently and naturally help the body find balance again, and help you easily drift off to sleep. And as a parent who has likely struggled to get restful sleep, sometimes for years, RestoreZ offers ongoing support that ensures your body gets what it needs from sleep. You’ll gain more restorative sleep without risking a sleep hangover or worrying you won’t wake up if your child needs you. Use it to get back on track after Daylight Saving Time screws up your routine, and continue to use for long-term overall sleep health. RestoreZ is most often used by adults, but it's even safe for children as young as 12 years old.
And if you’re really sick of DST, sign the petition to make sure it ends once and for all: https://enddaylightsavingtime.org/sign-the-petition/
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