Daylight Saving Time May Affect Kids with Mental Health Disorders
If you’re the parent of a child with a mental health disorder, the recent change to Daylight Saving Time may have some health impacts you should be aware of.
Pediatricians at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio say the time change can have different negative effects for different disorders.
- Changes in sleep patterns from time change can cause a manic episode in children and teens with bipolar disorder.
- Kids dealing with depression and anxiety may find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Children with autism already tend to sleep one to two hours less than other kids their age, and they also wake up earlier.
- The time change can affect kids with ADHD. The medication can cause “rebound hyperactivity” close to bedtime, making it difficult for kids to fall asleep.
Doctors have recommendations for better sleep quality — regardless of whether a child or teen has a mental health disorder or not:
- Devices like phones, tablets or televisions should be turned off or removed from the bedroom. An alternative is listening to calming sounds.
- Do not eat heavy meals before bed. A light, healthy snack is acceptable.
- Do not drink caffeinated beverages eight hours before bedtime.
- Keep bedrooms dark and cool with comfortable bedding.
- Do not exercise right before bed.