On Sunday 27th March, we’ll all be putting our clocks forward and officially welcoming spring, its lovely light evenings and (hopefully) some sunshine. However, this change can cause sleep difficulties within some households.
Sleep is so important for us throughout our lives and especially early on, with poor sleep patterns and sleep deprivation linked to a lesser learning and cognitive ability and an increase in obesity. It’s estimated that 40% of children will experience a sleep problem at some point within their childhood.
We spoke to Vicki Dawson, CEO and Founder of The Children’s Sleep Charity to uncover her top tips to help your child adjust to the changes more easily:
1. Start New Routine Days Before
Start putting children to bed slightly earlier by 10 minutes every three days, so that by the time the clocks change they are used to falling asleep earlier.
Don¹t forget to wake them earlier though each morning by the same amount of time, this helps to strengthen your child¹s body clock!
3. Dinner, Bath, Bed
Move the bedtime routine forwards too, this includes meal times, bath times and any other before bedtime activities, including reading.
4. Blackout the Bedroom
Darken the bedroom environment to help your child to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps us to feel sleepy. Blackout blinds can help in the summer months to stop your little ones from waking up too early!
5. Rise and Shine!
Open the curtains and if possible go out in the natural daylight each morning, this helps to wake you all up!
For more sleep tips or advice visit: www.thechildrenssleepcharity.org.uk.