For young children who are early birds, avoid crankiness by helping them adjust their sleep schedules to the change gradually. Try to move bed and nap times back by 15 minutes at a time for four days in a row. This should help ensure a smooth sleep transition so you can actually enjoy the extra hour of play time.
I believe that most older children can benefit from and may enjoy having a little more sleep. For these children, it may make more sense to keep bedtime where it is. This decision may mean they stay up a little later the next night, but that is OK because you know they have had plenty of rest for the day.
Also, remember that the biannual time change is always a good time to change your smoke detector batteries.
Melissa Johnson is a Clinical Psychologist with WakeMed Children’s.