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Clocks Go Back 1 Hour: Top Tips For Parents

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By Al Ferguson

Al Ferguson is the CEO and founder of The Dadsnet.

Published on 26/10/2018

How to manage your child’s routine when the clocks go back.

Here in the UK, this weekend marks the end of British Summer Time and rolls out the red carpet for shorter days, longer nights and of course, an extra hour in bed.

Unless of course, you have children…

Clocks go back

Because children don’t seem to understand the need for an extra hour in bed – their internal body clock just doesn’t agree with the whole thing.

But panic not! There are some things you can do to minimise the disruption to your child’s routine and maximise the chances of getting even just a few of those 60 extra minutes snuggled up in a peaceful slumber. 

Firstly, the information you need to know. The clocks go back this Sunday 28th October at 2am. I mean, you don’t really need to know that because our tech devices do it all automatically. None the less, it’s this coming Sunday that you might get an extra hour to lie in…

Easy Steps

Stagger the hour change in smaller steps so that the child can naturally take it in their stride.

Start changing bedtime timings now, pushing the bedtimes and nap times back by a few minutes each day. The theory is that by the time it gets to Sunday your little ones have already adjusted to Daylight Saving Time.

The key is to make sure you and your family are already in sync with the new time when you wake up on Sunday morning, thus maximising your chances of getting the most out of that extra hour.

Keep Busy

Essentially, you’re moving the children’s bedtimes a little later. (We’ll go into more detail in a moment…) This will naturally mean they’re more tired than usual, but even so, plan a really busy day for Saturday. Get out and about, be active and wear them out good and proper.

Your Bedtime

We’ve all been there; thinking, ‘ah, I’ll stay up an extra little bit later because I have an extra hour to sleep tonight.’

Wrong. Go to be at your usual time. Your children have absorbed the extra hour by going to bed slightly later, but if you do the same thing, you won’t reap the benefits. So stick to your normal bedtime. 

Clocks go back 2

Turn off the tech

This also applies to the other 364 days of the year but especially this weekend. If you really want to make the most of it, put down your tech. The blue light will disrupt your body’s rhythm making you stay awake for longer when it comes to hitting the sack. This applies to you and the kids! 


We’ve always tried to make our children’s rooms as dark as possible, but with this extra hour, you really want to stop any daylight creeping in their room. If they open their eyes and see it is still dark as the night, you’ll have more of a  chance that they’ll roll over and snug back down.

Meal Times

It could just be my children, but the first thing they think of when their eyes ping open in the morning is their stomach. If their body clock is gunning for normal time, and their stomach, you’ve got no chance. So remove the hunger! 

The day before, just like you have staggered their bedtimes in the days building up to the time change, do the same for meals. And why stop there? Start staggering their whole routine! That way, when Saturday & Sunday arrive your child will be 1 hour ahead of the world and Sunday night, everyone will catch them up and you’ll get your extra hour. 

Right, over to you. Good luck. May the force be with you and despite all this wonderful advice and theory, we’ll see you at 5am on Sunday morning. :) 

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