Daylight Saving – Sleep, Faitgue and Children

On Sunday 3rd of April we put our clocks back by one hour. Only one hour, however it is amazing just how much of an impact one hour has on our body clocks and just how difficult it is to readjust ourselves. As adults we know exactly what is happening. Why it is now lighter in the mornings again and why we are now driving home in the dark with our lights on. Imagine what this is to a child and how it affects how they eat, sleep and interact with others.

Daylight saving changes can often leave a sense of fatigue in people as they adjust their internal clock with the actual clock changes that occur when Daylight Saving is implemented. Statistically after the clocks change, the incidence of accidents increases among pedestrians and motorists, with more occurrences of inattention such as stepping out too early at a crossing or nose to tail accidents. For children it can take several days to fully adjust to the new time and to reset their sleep patterns. They may be less co-operative, be off meals, and find the end of the day really difficult. They can become more accident prone, tripping more easily and be less attentive than usual.

For all family members before the next change, it is good to make gradual changes towards the bed time routines. For several days before the change in time, try and go to bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier so it is a gradual process for clocks back, for clocks forward the opposite stay up that little bit longer. Whilst this won’t eliminate the effects it will at least reduce the adjustment time.

We will moan and groan about the adjustment but the rewards are having some daylight back in our mornings and perhaps finding it a little easier to convince young children that yes it is indeed bedtime as it is dark outside. This is also a great time to check batteries for replacement especially in smoke alarms, torches, automatic cat doors or any other device that you rely on that required battery power. Do you have up to date batteries in your emergency kit for the radio and torches?!

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