Managing Bedtime When Clocks Go Forwards or Backwards

Posted on 04/10/2021 by Olivia Lowry
Sleep

Cute little child girl sleeping in her bed.

When Do The Clocks Change?

In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1:00 AM on the last Sunday in March (27th), and backwards 1 hour at 2:00 AM on the last Sunday in October (31st) as of the official government website. In the UK, the main purpose of the clocks changing is to make better use of the daylight. The clocks go forwards and backward once a year.

When Do The Clocks Go Backwards?

October 31st is the day the clocks go backwards this year, marking the end of daylight saving and us all getting a lovely extra hour in bed. It should be a treat, but for parents with babies and young children, it only means one thing – the perils of getting your little ones up earlier the next day!

Parents everywhere despair when the clocks alter and confuse sleep routines. And it’s not just your children who can struggle to adjust – there’s the knock-on effect of sleep-deprived parents who are suddenly re-adjusting to wakefulness after a few months of settled nights.

Most older children will cope with the clock change well, but younger children and babies are more sensitive to time changes. If you’re looking to minimise the disruption to you and your child’s sleep patterns, Lisa Artis, deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity shares some top tips on making sure your child doesn’t lose any sleep when the clocks go back.

Dad, mum and son cuddle in bed and have a lie in as the clocks change.

When Do The Clocks Go Forward?

The clocks go forward on the 27th March, 2022, giving you lots of time to prepare. It’s worth noting that the clocks always go forward at 1:00 AM on the final Sunday of March. When switching to British Summer Time we can expect exchanging an extra hour’s lie-in on Sunday, for brighter evenings. Perfect for playing outside and summer holiday fun in parks and gardens with friends!

Child sleeps soundly in new routine as the clocks change.

Forming A Bedtime Routine For When The Clocks Change

A pink metal old style alarm clock for children sits on a children's bedside table.

It is worth noting that children with good sleep routines tend to cope better with the changes in time as they know what to expect at the end of the day.  A good bedtime routine – teatime, followed by quiet play, bath, story and bed is typical.  Ensure the environment is right for sleep – it should be cool, quiet and dark and make sure the bed is comfortable and supportive, as well as being appropriate for your little ones age and stage of development.

For more information on sleep health, visit The Sleep Charity.

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