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What parents can do to survive this weekend's time change
It might just be an hour, but the semi-annual time change can disrupt sleep rhythms, especially those of young children. - photo by Payton Davis
Halloween will probably include enough bustle to keep parents busy this weekend but the possible effects of the semi-annual time change on children's sleeping habits shouldn't go overlooked.

Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., meaning most Americans will turn back the clock an hour. People might assume they reap benefits from "falling back" because of a bit more sleep, Lisa Flam wrote for Today.

However, the shift's main byproduct can be negative.

"What's important to note about the time change, though, is that it can disrupt normal internal sleep rhythms and bodily systems like metabolism because we are no longer in sync with our external environment when it gets light and dark out and can end up feeling jet-lagged," according to Today.

And kids, in particular, struggle with mood swings, emotional problems, stress levels and learning and coping abilities if they fail to adjust, Today reported.

So what's a parent also feeling a bit tired from the time change to do?

They should push kids' bedtimes back starting now, sleep educator Alanna McGinn told CTV News. McGinn advised having children go to sleep 15 minutes later four to five days ahead of the change helps them prepare.

"For instance, if your toddler typically goes to bed at 7 p.m., McGinn recommends keeping them up until 7:15 p.m," Christina Commisso wrote for CTV News. "The next evening, push their bedtime back to 7:30 p.m., and continue to do so until they're comfortable going to bed at 8 p.m. By the time the hour rolls back on Sunday, McGinn says they should be adjusted."

According to CTV News, McGinn also suggested parents make sure their kids' rooms are dark and use a white noise machine to cancel out external sounds.

Ingrid Prueher wrote for The Huffington Post of measures parents should take exclusive to this year with Halloween right before the change.

A sugar high compounded with a new sleeping schedule could wreak havoc, The Huffington Post's piece indicated. Parents of trick-or-treaters should limit the number of treats youths eat during the holiday and provide a healthy meal before the festivities.

Consistency can also prove key in light of Halloween.

"Follow through with your child's regular sleep routine so they are receiving the same sleep cues. Make sure they are not eating anything, especially candy, at least two hours before bedtime," according to The Huffington Post. "Pull down the bedroom shades, read them a book, sing them a song, turn on a white noise machine, give them hugs and kisses, and then turn off the lights."

Heather Tooley noted for Inquisitr steps parents of children with special needs might need to take: If kids wake up too early Sunday morning, tell them they must go back to sleep.

Parents also shouldn't forget patience in this case, according to Inquisitr.

"Daylight Saving Time can be hard on everyone involved, so its vital that parents keep control of their emotions," Inquisitr's report read. "Stress will cause children to act up even more when they sense impatience, making it crucial to remember to be patient during the process."

The U.K.'s time change took place Sunday, and Cameron Macphail wrote for The Telegraph of a few other methods families on this side of the Atlantic could utilize.

Turn off all screens an hour before bedtime, offer a "milky, warm" drink to encourage sleepiness and make sure all the clocks are correct, according to The Telegraph.

"Don't make this mum's mistake," the report read.
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