It’ll be time for Iowans to "fall back" on Sunday as Daylight Savings Time ends. One expert says parents should start taking action –now– to help their kids adjust to moving the clocks back an hour this weekend. Dr. Thomas Reimers is a child psychologist in Omaha-Council Bluffs and says the time change can have an impact on a kid’s behavior.
Reimers says: "Kids more so than adults. Adults can adjust to time changes pretty well. Kids tend to have a little more difficult time in part because they get used to their schedules." He offers Iowa parents some simple advice to minimize the potential stress on their kids.
Reimers says: "For parents with young children who are not in school, waking them up a few minutes later each day until they have adjusted to that hour time change is helpful. Another thing they can do is to keep naptime the same, again for young children. Something they do not want to do is have children make the change the day before the time change takes effect. Sometimes that interferes with their sleep schedule for several days afterwards." Reimers says parents should start making slight adjustments this week — before the time change.
He says: "You might get some crankiness with some children. Like adults, children vary in terms of how they adjust to the time change. Some children can make no adjustments what so ever to their sleep schedule and the time change just kinda’ rolls off their back."
Reimers, who works at the Children’s Hospital Family Support Center in Omaha, says sleep requirements vary by age. Infants sleep up to 12 hours a night with naps during the day. Toddlers up to age three need 12-to-14 hours of sleep and preschoolers from three-to-five need 11-to-13 hours of sleep a night. He says poor sleep can affect school performance and lead to irritability, moodiness and defiance.