Daylight Savings Survival Podcast – EP 11

November 2, 2016 |  by  |  Podcast, schedules

Will changing the clock for daylight savings time muck up your child’s sleep?

In a word: yes.

Changing the clocks 1 hour means our body clock and clock time are no longer in sync. However there is a lot you can do to help you and your child navigate daylight savings with minimal disruption. In this daylight savings survival podcast we discuss evidence-based strategies to address the two major issues associated with fall/spring DST namely:

  • TOO early morning wake up (Fall DST)
  • Inability to fall asleep at bedtime (Spring DST)
  • General nap woes (both)

Parents love pumpkin spice lattes, Netflix, and panicking about Daylight Savings.

panic about daylight savings

DST is not panic-worthy. DST is a few bumpy days, and you’ve got more tools to navigate those bumps than you think! In our daylight savings survival podcast we specifically address the two key tools you have to ensure that daylight savings doesn’t disrupt your hard-won sleep: schedule management and light exposure.

daylight savings is baby jet lag

We also talk about why I don’t yet have one of those fancy light-based alarm clocks and why I should. And why the illustrated Harry Potter books are worth all the moneys. But you probably already knew that.

Further Reading

Daylight Savings Savings Time Sleep Strategies
Fall Daylight Savings

Don’t miss out on future episodes, subscribe on iTunes! We’re working on a multi-part series for working parents, daycare, sleep, and much more. Feel free to share any questions or comments with us at


  1. Good morning, thank you for another great podcast!

    I wanted to clarify and make sure I understand- so for this year’s fall DST, if my one year old’s usual bedtime is 730pm, on Saturday night, I should keep him up till 830pm correct? (following the 1 hour shift strategy)
    Should I shift his naps 1 hour forward on Saturday or wait till Sunday after the clock has been changed? (that’s the confusing part)

    Thanks so much!

    • Sam you’re the greatest 🙂

      You can either do things in one fell swoop or make gradual changes. Usually older kids do OK with the “pull off the bandaid” approach but you know your kiddo best!

      If you go the bandaid route you would use bright light exposure in the late afternoon/evening Saturday night. then technically you could either keep him up till 8:30 PM Saturday or wait till Sunday (it makes no real difference honestly). The light exposure is your best bet to help him sleep IN the additional hour in the morning. And that’s the key.

      Because DST means the 6:30 AM wakeup now becomes (clock-time) 5:30 AM. And nobody wants that. So you’re trying to shift your child’s clock OUT so he CAN sleep till 6:30 AM (clock time, which is technically now 7:30 AM body time) and later bedtime/naptime + light exposure is your best bet. Good luck!

      • Thanks for the reply! Will see how it goes!

      • Good morning! Just wanted to leave an update- Sat night we did a lot of bright lights prior to bedtime, and pushed bedtime by half an hour to 8pm instead of 730pm. Sun morning, he woke up at 7am! So that was great! THEN THIS MORNING HAPPENED ugh! He woke up at 530 and wouldn’t go back to sleep, even with the snooze feed. He was a miserable mess too, I felt so bad, usually he wakes up so happy to start the day. We weren’t able to do the bright lighting last night prior to bedtime, which I wonder if that was the cause. So tonight, bring on the bright lighting!

        • Maybe, maybe not. The issue with gradual change and light exposure is that it’s the best you can do. It doesn’t guarantee anything but you can at least feel you’ve done what COULD be done. Did the lack of bright light LAST night lead to a 5:30 AM wake? Eh? Maybe. It won’t hurt and it may help.

          Bottom line: DST sucks all around 😛

  2. Hi Alexis! Just wanted to let you know I have the entry level Philips gradual light alarm clock and it was only like $70 on Amazon. There are also some new even cheaper brands out there now. Go for it!

  3. This seems far-fetched, but… is it possible to have a delayed response to the time change? My little one just turned 6 months. She adjusted to the time change almost immediately, but then 5 days later, started waking earlier in the morning (and also waking more at night). I feel like I’m grasping at straws here, because I think I’m doing everything else right (she takes 3 decent naps per day, has an appropriate bedtime, goes to sleep 100% independently, awake 2.5-3 hours before bed, etc).

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