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“Falling Back” On Sleep

3 Ways To Help Your Child’s Sleep During Time Changes

As a parent of a Complex Learner, you may already be very familiar with sleep struggles. For children with multiple learning differences, sleep doesn’t always come easy. Whether it’s due to overstimulation where their mind can’t calm down or under-stimulation during the day, sleep struggles can wreak havoc on a child’s (and your) physical and mental health.

As we prepare to “fall back” in a few weeks for the end of daylight savings time, you might already be bracing yourself for the weeks of chaos as your child struggles to adjust. While there might not be a miracle cure for sleep struggles, there are ways you can help your child adjust to the time change. Take a look below for 3 ways you can help your child!

1. Go To Sleep Later

We know it might come as a surprise for us to recommend sending your child to bed later when they already struggle with sleep but there’s a reason – we promise! A few days before the spring transition to daylight savings time, it can be helpful to start waking your child up 20-30 minutes earlier and adjusting their bedtime to make this possible. The same thinking can be applied when it comes time to set the clocks back an hour. But instead of getting up earlier, you’ll be having your child go to bed a little bit later so their bodies can start adjusting to the shift in time. This helps their body process the time change ensuring that they’ll continue to get the necessary amount of sleep they need each night!

2. Move The Bed

While it will soon begin to get darker sooner, that also means that the sun will start rising earlier. To prepare that this change doesn’t disrupt your child’s sleep, take a look at their room layout. Is their bed facing a window? If so, they could be woken up earlier than they should (and earlier than you’d like!) simply because the sun is hitting their eyes or just lighting up their room. Try moving their bed away from the facing window. If you’re unable to change the placement of the bed or if your child still struggles with their room not staying dark enough for them to remain asleep, try investing in some blackout curtains. This can help set the tone for bedtime and ensure that any unwanted light won’t disrupt your child’s sleep!

3. Stick To The Routine

If your child is feeling extra sleepy in the morning or wide awake later than usual at night, it can be tempting to adjust your child’s bedtime routine. While it might not seem like it, this can actually be harmful to your child. Once the clocks have been set back, stick to your nightly routine. That means bedtime at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning. It can be especially helpful to avoid any mental stimulation about an hour (or more if needed!) before bed as this might energize your child. Whether it be taking a warm bath or shower or reading a story together, try to incorporate calming activities into your bedtime routine.

While the clocks might be falling back, that doesn’t mean you have to fall back on any progress you’ve made with your child’s sleep! Let us know what other tips or tricks you use in the comments below!

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