If you live in one of the 70 countries around the world that have Daylight Saving Time then twice a year you are filled with dread as you know what is about to happen. For us in the UK British Summer Time or BST as it’s sometimes called, ends this weekend and with it comes shorter days, longer nights and an extra hour in bed unless you have children – because they really don’t understand that concept until they hit the teen years.
To make sure you’re not left behind, some sleep-loving crusaders at Mattressman have come up with a few simple tips and tricks to help you and the little ones better adjust to the change.
Before we begin though, let’s revisit the history behind BST just in case the kids ask:
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mattressman a company we recommend and purchase our beds and mattresses from when needed.
Why do we have Summer Time and Change the Clocks.
- The British first moved our clocks forward during WWI.
- British Summer Time was introduced largely in the hopes of conserving coal it gave us more daylight hours at the end of the day in early Spring so less chance we would be indoors and need coal.
- When BST ends, we return to what is called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Top Tips for Coping as a Parent with the “Time Change”
Right, back to sleep.
The transition from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time can definitely take its toll on our sleep routine. It may only be an hour’s difference, but the move can have a substantial effect on our body clocks.
Our body clocks and those of our children are sensitive little things: they react to minute changes in stimuli like light and temperature. The time change can, therefore, have a particularly unsettling effect this time of year as we lose out on daylight and the weather is colder.
To make sure you’re not left behind, here are some pieces of advice that we’ve picked up over the years at Mattressman. And if you ever have any other questions about sleep, why not visit the Mattressman blog? It’s chock-full of weird and wonderful articles about sleep that are not only interesting but helpful too!
- Enjoy the lie-in! – You can enjoy an extra long lie-in this Sunday without getting out of bed any later, so make the most of it! Keeping to the same routine will also help you to fall asleep in the evening at the usual time.
- Turn off the tech – The clock change can put a strain on our natural rhythms, so it’s a good idea to avoid any additional disruption. Smartphones and tablets produce high levels of blue light, which can trick your body into staying awake, and this means that you won’t feel sleepy when bedtime comes around. To make sure you’re ready to hit the hay, turn off phones and tablets an hour or so before bed – beginning your night-time routine or reading a bedtime story can get you and the kids off of the tech for just the right amount of time before bed.
- Easy does it – To minimise the effect of the clock change, gradually bring bedtime forwards a few days beforehand. Moving the kids’ bedtime forwards by about 20 minutes each night will mean their body clocks are in sync with the new time when it happens.
- Get out in the sun – With chillier, darker mornings, it’s second nature to want to stay indoors in the warmth, but getting out in the sunlight is actually one of the best things that you can do to counteract that groggy feeling after the clock change. Exposure to sunlight in the mornings will tell your body that the day has started, so you and the kids will feel ready to go to bed come bedtime.
Last year as we approached this time of year we made one major change just after we moved and with what we hoped would help alongside these tips adjust us to GMT, we switched out our bed and purchased a new memory foam mattress, if you need further advice don’t hesitate to take a look at the Mattressman website or blog, with a team of sleep experts always on hand to help you sleep!
Good night and Good Luck!
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.