An extra hour of sleep!... unless the kid spoils it
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The weather forecast for Halloween night isn't yet set in stone. One thing's for sure though -- like it or not, daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. That means 2 a.m. becomes 1 a.m., which means I'll finally get back that hour of sleep I lost all the way back in March.
That is unless a certain lovable young child of mine decides to spoil my attempt at some extra shut-eye.
Just a hunch, but I'm guessing my wife and I aren't the only parents of young children who spend a significant portion of their waking hours obsessing over their child's sleep. Who can blame us? When the kid gets a good night's sleep, so do the parents. And that makes everyone happy, or at least less cranky.
Sleep has become so sacred since the arrival of my first child 23 months ago that even the prospect of a winter wonderland outside my window doesn't lure this snow lover out of bed as early as it used to (imagine my disappointment when all I see is bare ground).
That's why, for several weeks now, I've been quietly plotting how to manipulate my offspring's sleep so that he'll awake Sunday morning the same time as always -- 8 a.m., on the dot -- and not a second earlier. (Yes, I know, some parents would kill for their children to sleep 'til 8).
Our plan of attack went into effect earlier this week...
First, there was the mental mind-bender of figuring out whether adjusting for the end of daylight saving time means putting our precious one to bed earlier or later. Seriously, it's kind of confusing to think about (I'm a meteorologist not a math major). The answer, for those who'd rather not think too hard, is later.
For example, let's say your child is like mine and normally goes to bed at 9 p.m. and wakes at 8 a.m. If you put him or her to bed at the usual 9 p.m. this coming Saturday night and he or she sleeps the usual 11 hours, then the clock will read 7 a.m. when he or she wakes Sunday morning, since we'll have turned the clocks back an hour overnight.
And by his or her natural body clock, not to mention the influence of the earlier sunset Sunday evening (can you believe it's at 5:07 p.m.?), he or she would be ready for bed again at 7 p.m. Sunday night. Suddenly you have yourself an 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. sleeper instead of 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.
So, for a few nights already, we've been putting our little guy to sleep a little later each night, and trying not to go to him in the morning until the full 11 hours are up. We've also been pushing the afternoon nap later, and will start doing the same for meals as well. (Lots of moving parts to this sleep manipulation thing!)
So far, so good. Come Saturday night, hopefully we'll have stretched his bedtime close to 10 p.m. -- a little Halloween candy should be just the trick to keep him up late.
Of course, the true test doesn't come until Sunday morning, when Mommy and Daddy inevitably awake to the sweet voice of a little boy babbling through the baby monitor. God willing, the first digit I see on the clock as I open my eyes won't be anything lower than an 8.
How do you plan to transition your kids or yourself through the end of daylight saving time? Leave a comment below...
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