PITTSBURGH - A doctor at UPMC Children's Hospital told Channel 11 parents have to start early in the week to prepare their children for daylight saving time.
On Sunday, we will be springing clocks forward an hour and losing some sleep. That can be difficult for everyone, but especially children. Dr. Deepa Burman said the shift can make behaviors change quickly.
"They might be having more frequent meltdowns at bedtime because they might be more tired from that loss of sleep," said Burman, a pediatric sleep doctor.
Burman says parents need to ease children into the change by pushing bed time up by 15 minutes a night in the days leading up to daylight saving time.
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"By the time the time change happens, you are already ready for that 8 p.m. bedtime," she told Channel 11.
She says with darker mornings and lighter nights ahead, it is also important to adjust your morning routine a bit to wake up your body sooner.
"If you live in Pittsburgh where we don't have as much natural light, try to get artificial lights, bright lights, turn on all the lights in your house," said Burman.
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She also stressed the importance of putting away electronics well before a child's bedtime, or it could make falling asleep more difficult.
"Those artificial lights can actually decrease the body's melatonin," said urman.
The doctor said the consequences of long-term sleep deprivation can including memory and attention problems, especially in young children.
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