March 5, 2009

Daylight saving time hard on kids, parents

A U.S. doctor predicts school children may miss some of the 9-11 hours sleep needed daily after daylight saving time begins this weekend.

It sounds good, but it is really hard on children, Dr. Richard Castriotta of the University of Texas Medical School in Houston says in a statement. The time change is even hard on parents -- moms and dads will have to wake up children while it is still dark outside, plus, they will have to try and get their children to go to sleep when the sun is still up.

Castriotta advises starting a few days early to reset body clocks by going to bed a bit earlier and getting up earlier. The doctor also advises:

-- Try to make the room as dark as possible at night with thick curtains or a black-out shade.

-- If the sun isn't up yet in the morning, turn on bright lights to send the body the message to WAKE UP!

-- Do not allow children to stay outside because it is still light, so they have enough time to unwind before bedtime.