An expert from Sshhh Sleep Consultancy has shared some top tips for helping adjust your children’s sleeping patterns ahead of the clocks changing at the end of October
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On October 31 the clocks will go back an hour and this can be a very confusing time for all – but especially children.
It gets darker earlier and evenings just don’t feel the same all of which can mess with your little one’s sleeping patterns.
But a sleep consultant and former night nanny has shared some top tips for parents so they can help their kids adjust when the clocks change at the end of the month.
Lisa from Sshhh Sleep Consultancy explained how mums and dads can start making a gradual change to bedtime now, to prepare children.
And all it takes is 15 minutes.
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She said: “You can gradually shift your child’s body clock by making their bedtime 15 minutes later each night for four nights (or every other night).
“This means they should be adjusted come the weekend. If you have a Gro-clock for your toddler, today is a good time to start changing the timer by 15 minutes each day too.”
And you can also implement the 15-minute adjustment to any daytime naps your children take and change the time of their lunch and dinners so everything fits in accordingly.
But while you’re changing their bedtime, it’s important to keep the time they wake up in the morning the same.
“Do try to get them up at their usual awake time in the morning to start creating this new 24-hour routine,” Lisa continues.
“Open the curtains, open the windows for some fresh air and start all stimuli (playing, music, noise etc.) so your child knows the day has well and truly started.”
If you’re struggling to get your kids into a bedtime routine, the expert also recommends following the five Bs to help get kids relaxed and ready to sleep.
“I am an advocate of the 5Bs: Bath, Bedroom, Books, Bottle and Bed,” she shared.
“Remember to use this routine with your child EVERY night (and not just for this purpose) to instil a quiet, calm and relaxing wind-down before bed.
“No gadgets or TV after dinner as the blue light from these items inhibits melatonin – our sleep hormone – from producing. This should help this transition.”
She adds: “Swedish research has proved that late afternoon outdoor light helps aid night-time sleep. This exposure to outside light should help if they are getting sleepy come the afternoon.
“Avoid sugary and processed foods that will make you feel sluggish. Have some protein for breakfast and lunch instead.
“Melatonin Rich Foods: Eat more melatonin friendly foods: turkey, tart cherries, bananas, milk or almonds to help aid sleep.
“And if you or your child are struggling during the day, have a 20-minute nap, but not a full sleep cycle of 1.5 hours. The latter will disrupt your sleep pattern.”
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