By Megan Walsh, VP of Marketing at Schoola & Mom
My least favorite thing about fall is the shortness of daylight, and this weekend we will lose a whole hour of it at once. We’ll be officially welcoming fall (and winter) this weekend as Daylight Savings Time comes to a close on Sunday. You’ll need to set your clock back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 1st.
Here are some great things about the time change this year:
- Starting this evening, it will become a good idea to let your kids stay up a little later than usual to prepare for the big shift on Sunday night. This might mean a little extra time for family game night on Friday and 30 minutes to an hour of extra Halloween fun as well! Slowly transitioning to a later bedtime will be the easy part, as this will probably be seen as a “bonus!” to your little ones.
- Start practicing for a later wake-up time by sleeping in on Sunday morning! This will be the trickiest part for my almost-two-year-old who is an early riser. I plan to triple-check that the blackout shades in his room are fully operational, and might even reinstall an old set in my kindergartener’s room in order to help her make the transition for the first week or so.
- Look at the bright side—you will likely have a little extra time in the morning for the first week, as your body will probably wake you up before your alarm. Our family plans to take advantage of this by shifting some of our typical afternoon activities (like walking the dog) to the morning. Getting outside is a great way to help your body adjust to the new time, as daylight is the single most influential trigger to your body’s circadian rhythms.
So that doesn’t sound all that bad right? Well, it just wouldn’t be realistic to talk about time change without mentioning some of the pitfalls:
- When you are stretching bedtimes later, be sure to do so without screens. Television and cell phones stimulate kids and make it harder for them to settle down to sleep on their own. Make it a habit to turn off devices at least an hour before bed to get better quality sleep.
- Expect whining. There will be some sleep loss in the first week of the adjustment, and in addition, many kids are losing some of the afternoon outside time that helped them blow off after school steam. Plan to address this double-whammy of crankiness proactively by stocking the game or craft closet with some exciting replacements for their beloved sports or park time. There is not much a new Lego set from Pley can’t fix in our household 🙂
- Get glowing. A very real side effect to neighborhoods getting darker earlier is increased danger in transportation. Make sure your kids have the appropriate reflective gear for walking or biking in the dark.
Be well this weekend!
Megan’s favorite school memory is discovering a Peer Counseling program that helped her become a leader in her toughest year of grade-school–when she grew 11 inches in 12 months, and changed schools as a 5’8” fifth-grader. Now she is a mom of two bay area babes, and spends the workweek helping more parents find and leverage Schoola to fund their school programs.