Surviving Daylight Savings 2020

This blog post originally appeared on The Scout Guide Washington, DC

Daylight Savings fills me with trepidation during a normal year, so Daylight Savings 2020 has me in a near panic.  I know I am not alone in dreading what this seemingly harmless “fall back” in our clocks does to my children’s mood and sleep schedule.  Planning ahead and preparing yourself mentally and physically for the turning of the clocks is important.  Below are some tips to get you and your family through the days before and after Daylight Savings to make the transition as smooth as possible.  While we all adjust, please excuse my kids still wearing their pajamas in their morning Zoom classes – we are doing the best we can!


Be Proactive.  Instead of shocking your kid’s system with a sudden time change, gently ease her into it.  Change up her bedtime routine by 10-15 minutes every few nights the week prior to D-Day so that she can slowly adjust. Daylight savings is on November 1st this year so start preparing the week of October 25th.


Practice Good Sleep Hygiene Every Day.  Putting down screens at least a half hour before bedtime, dimming lights to get everyone in a sleepy state, and having a relaxing bedtime routine will help make everything go smoother.  While these are things we should practice every evening, be particularly mindful of them when trying to change your child’s internal clock.


Sleep now!  This might seem like silly advice but if you go into Daylight Savings already tired, things are going to be apocalyptic (it is 2020 after all).  Do everything you can to guarantee your toddler naps, install black-out shades to ensure a dark room ideal for snoozing, and avoid staying up late watching Netflix so that the whole family is well rested in the days proceeding the clock change.  This goes for parents, too, as we all know a well-rested parent has superhero powers compared to an exhausted one.


Be Patient.  I try to remind myself that if I, an actual adult, am in a terrible mood because I’m tired, then my kids must be on the verge of turning into rabid raccoons.  Children handle sleep deprivation even worse than we do, so forgive the meltdowns as much as possible and remember that within a week or so everything should return to normal.


Best of luck and make sure to reward yourself on November 1st with some left over Halloween candy!