How To Help Your Child Ace The Clock Change Without Any Confusion Or Anxiety

It can be difficult for children to adjust.
Cant sleep little boy laying in bedinsomnia
Ekaterina Vasileva-Bagler via Getty Images
Cant sleep little boy laying in bedinsomnia

In just a few weeks the UK will be losing one hour of sleep as the clocks go forward. Though it’s not a significant change, some people might find it difficult to adjust.

For children it’s probably more likely they’ll need help with adjusting. Clocks go forward on March 31st which is the start of British summer time. Though it means extended hours of daylight, this could disrupt sleep.

Sleep expert Martin Seeley at MattressNextDay explains what happens to the body when the clocks go forward and how you can help your children.

For both adults and children the circadian rhythm within our body runs in a 24 hour cycle. It’s heavily influenced by the environment, says Martin, and it plays a crucial role in hour sleep and wake cycle.

“For instance, as the evening draws in and it becomes dark, the circadian rhythm signals to the brain that we need to grow tired in order to sleep, promoting the sleep hormone melatonin. Likewise, when morning comes and the light in our environment becomes brighter, it lets the brain know that we need to be awake and alert,” explains Martin.

Unfortunately, the circadian rhythm is quite sensitive and can be thrown off by the smallest change. So when clocks go forward it could be something you need to adjust to.

Martin says: “This doesn’t just effect our sleep, as the circadian rhythm also plays a role in our digestive system, electrolyte balance, body temperature and hormones.”

How can you help a child adjust?

Martin advises to move back your child’s bedtime by 10 minutes every two nights in the run up to March 31st, so that by the time clocks go forward, your child won’t feel it.

He also says to expose your child to as much light as possible in the morning to let their body know it’s daytime.

“As their bedtime draws nearer, gradually darken their environment over the course of the hour. This will help to reset the body clock”, he comments.

Finally, Martin says you need to keep to a routine as structure is important, especially for children. It’s essential to keep the same sleep after clocks go forward.