Brace Yourselves, Parents: It's Almost Time to 'Spring Forward'

Unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii (so jealous of you right now!), you’re probably gearing up for the spring event that every parent dreads: Daylight Saving Time, when we, as the cutesy slogan suggests, “spring forward” — setting our clocks ahead one hour, thereby throwing off everybody’s sleep schedule and making it pitch-dark in the mornings just when we’re trying to pep up. It’s hard enough just to be a human being during these times, but when you’re a human being trying to raise small humans whose sleep patterns have just been thrown into a tailspin, it’s a whole other ballgame.

In the past five years, says the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states have passed legislation that supports year-round Daylight Saving Time — meaning no more twice-yearly adjusting of the clocks. But since states’ adherence to Daylight Saving Time is a federal law, it’s gonna take a literal act of Congress to change it. For the past few years, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has introduced (and reintroduced) the Sunshine Protection Act, imploring Congress to “lock the clock” — and in March 2022, the Senate unanimously passed that act, sending it to the House for action. However, despite its broad support, the legislation was never brought up for a vote.

So here we are, parents, preparing once again for the upheaval of routine we can’t wait to gripe about next week. And since we’re here, we may as well talk about how to make the adjustment into Daylight Saving Time just a smidge easier.

According to the Better Sleep Council, half of all American parents say daylight savings affects their kids; more than 29 percent report it’s more difficult to get children to sleep after the time change. That’s because if you’re trying to put them to sleep at their normal bedtime, it feels one hour earlier to them because it is one hour earlier.

We know plenty of kids who end up in tears when they spend more than an hour trying to fall asleep. And why shouldn’t they? They’re frustrated, and they’re anxious about being tired the next day. And you know that feeling the morning after, when you practically need a forklift to get your kids out of their beds? Yeah, so do we.

How can it possibly be morning already? We all wonder. Because it is still so dark.

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