How Sleep Is Affected By The Clocks Going Forward

clocks going forward

How did the spring clock change go? How has it been with that one hour forward that the clocks just did to us? Have you managed to get over that yet? Are you feeling like you’re on track with the new time and feeling refreshed by spring, or are you a walking zombie and feeling exhausted because that one hour, it feels like a huge jet lag to you?

It affects everybody differently. Some manage that change way more smoothly than others, and both adults and children. How have your children been? Have they been sensitive to it or breezed it? This kind of thing, these clock changes are really, really impactful on the human body and brain in a way that lots of people don’t even realize. You think it’s just one hour, but it can have a massive, massive impact.

In fact, a Swedish study that showed the risk of having a heart attack actually increases on the weekdays after the spring forward clock change. That’s a massive, massive factor. Both the clock changes have been linked with increased road traffic accidents, accidents in the workplace, and injuries due to accidents in the work place, it does crazy things to our minds and brains. Just one measly hour. It can have that much of an effect. And so actually the subtle differences you might see could just be sheer tiredness, maybe a little bit more moody, clingy, grumpy, fractious kiddies, or maybe not quite such patient parents. It could be anything. But just know that you’re not alone and actually that it’s not just one measly hour. It’s a big impact on the body.

I hope that it is going well for you and that you are managing to get over the difference in the clock change. But here are some ideas for you if you’re struggling or if you’re like, “Oh my God, it’s the worst thing. Ever since the clock changed, my child’s sleep’s gone completely off track.” And I’m going to be hearing this for the next few weeks, if not a few months, because this is what always happens. The clocks change, and then parents call us and go, “Ah, it’s all gone wrong.”

So to help you and to hope that it doesn’t all go wrong, the biggest and most important thing that I can recommend that you do is get into routine or rhythm right now that is in line with the time now. Make sure that you are starting the day and your little one is awake and starting the day, at the same time, every day, rather than having lie ins some days and up early on other days, try to start the day at roughly the same time every day. Try to ensure that they are having adequate daytime sleep if they are still young enough, and that those sleeps happen at the same times of day, each day, where possible. I know that’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Make sure that you and your little ones are all going to bed at pretty close to the same time every evening. And that can be hard for us adults, especially, the weekend comes stay up a little bit later, but if you’re struggling with this clock change, that kind of rhythm is going to really help you. Start the day at the same time every day and end the day at the same time every day, your body will thank you. It will know where it’s coming from. It will be like, “Okay, good. This is nighttime. This is daytime.” And it will get into that rhythm a whole lot quicker and easier.

Something that will also help and add to that are things like meal times. So eating at regular times, similar times, each day will also help. Again, it’s sending your body those cues and those messages of the rhythm of your day and then that sleep time comes. So it’s going to prepare the body better. It also, without going too sciencey on you, it also will have an effect and impact on things like the melatonin production, which is your sleep hormones. It will help to trigger you for sleep, rather than you fighting against it and trying to get yourself to sleep when you don’t want to or vice versa, wanting to sleep badly and just not being able to that’s the worst.

Routines, rhythms, triggers, cue the regularity with your body and get that body clock in check for the spring. If it helps you, it will also help your child. Makes sure you’re doing that for them and for you, that it’s all around, you’re going to have better family sleep.

Reach out to us if you have any questions or you need any help getting back on track after the clock change. But routine is definitely going to be your biggest path to getting things back on track and sleeping soundly.

Wishing you the very best of luck with it.

We’re here if you need us, and you can book a free discovery call if you want to know more about getting a good night’s sleep even with the clock change.