PITTSBURGH — Parents have to start early to prepare their children for daylight saving time, a pediatric sleep doctor told Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV.
On March 8, we will be springing clocks forward an hour and losing some sleep. That can be difficult for everyone, but especially children. Dr. Deepa Burman of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said the shift can make behaviors change quickly.
"They might be having more frequent meltdowns at bedtime because they might be more tired from that loss of sleep," Burman told WPXI.
Burman said parents need to ease children into the change by pushing bed time up by 15 minutes a night in the days leading up to daylight saving time.
"By the time the time change happens, you are already ready for that 8 p.m. bedtime," she said.
She says with darker mornings and lighter nights ahead, it is also important to adjust your morning routine a bit to wake up your body sooner.
She also stressed the importance of putting away electronics well before a child's bedtime, or it could make falling asleep more difficult.
"Those artificial lights can actually decrease the body's melatonin," Burman said.
The doctor said the consequences of long-term sleep deprivation can include memory and attention problems, especially in young children.