When do the clocks go back in 2019? In the US, the date has been set to November 3rd, which is this Sunday. The clocks are turned back one hour at two in the morning in order to minimise disruption to people's sleeping patterns and schedules.
The first thing you'll notice is that it'll be lighter in the morning – good news if you've been relying on a wake up light to drag yourself out of bed. Those of us who hate getting up in the dark will rejoice – albeit temporarily, since the dark mornings will catch up with us again by mid-December. But the downside of that is, of course, that it will get dark much earlier in the evening.
The second is that if you struggle to sleep well, you may feel that little bit more rested by virtue of being able to sleep in a little – on the Monday 28th, at least.
However, the experience of the clocks going back can be quite challenging for people with young children, especially if they have trouble sleeping anyway. Although the hour's difference is barely noticeable for most adults, it can really mess up a child's bedtime routine.
Babies and toddlers especially will wake up according to their body clocks (so that 6am wake up, which is just about bearable, suddenly becomes 5am). The solution?
We'd love to say that allowing a toddler or slightly older child to go to bed one hour later, but only on Saturday night, and putting them to bed at the usual time on the Sunday will work – but in our experience, they wake up at the same (non-adjusted) time as they always do, only ratty.
It's far better to let them adjust to the new time by about a quarter of an hour a night over the course of a few days. Being firm about them not getting out of bed until you say they can (and sending them back to bed if they wake up too early) can help speed up this process. Eventually, they'll get the message.
And, of course, investing in blackout curtains – a pair for the kids' bedrooms, and a pair for your own bedroom – will help if it's the light that wakes you up too soon.