FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – This weekend we “spring forward” and lose a precious hour of sleep, but doctors say if you make adjustments now, it won’t be so hard on your body.
Dr. Michelle Caraballo, a pediatric sleep specialist at UT Southwestern and Children’s Health said to make sure you’re all practicing healthy bedtime habits.
“We like all electronics to be off at least an hour before bedtime, preferably two if you can,” she said.
Dr. Caraballo also recommended doing activates that help you wind down.
She said you should dim the lights and lamps around the house, because the darkness can helps your body’s natural circadian rhythm should kick in.
She also suggested adjusting your child’s bedtime by about 20 minutes each night leading up to the weekend.
As for the warning signs that kids aren’t getting enough sleep, Dr. Caraballo said to keep in mind those can be very different than what adults experience.
“It’s like they’re very hyperactive, they’re bouncing off the walls,” she explained. “They have trouble sitting still, and focusing, and paying attention in class.”
When it comes to waking your kids up in the morning, she suggested opening up the blinds to let the sunshine in. She also said to stay strict with your schedule, even on the weekends.
“If you can, get to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day, seven days a week and that includes weekends,” Dr. Caraballo said. “That can be hard, but the body responds really well to rhythm and consistent routine.”
The doctor also recommended cutting out caffeine after lunchtime so it has plenty of time to wear off before bed.
In addition, she said to be mindful of naps, especially once kids are over the ages of four or five.
She said at that age, they really shouldn’t need them if they are getting adequate sleep at night.