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How to help your children and pets adjust to the time change

The adjustment is tough for everyone, but can be especially hard for children and pets.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — On Sunday at 2 a.m. clocks will spring forward an hour, meaning we will lose an hour of sleep. The adjustment is tough for everyone, but can be especially hard for kids.

On average, doctors recommend children get about 9 to 13 hours of sleep, pending their ages. While every kid is different, there are some simple signs that you can look for that show your child is not sleeping as much:

  • Memory problems
  • School performance drastically changing
  • Hyperactivity

If your child has these issues it's important to get them to bed early or have them get enough sleep on Friday, so when Saturday night comes they're already in a routine and will not be as impacted by the spring forward.

"On average if children are getting adequate sleep and they’re trying to compensate on the weekend, then think about how their symptoms are going to become worse with 1 hour less of sleep," said Dr. Hassan Dbouk, a Promedica sleep specialist 

Dr. Dbouk said keeping your child's room dark will also help them adjust to the change.

"I do recommend that whenever they sleep their room is perfectly dark, electronics should be off at least an hour before sleep. And most important things, when they wake up the room should be light" said Dr. Dbouk

Another group that may have trouble adjusting to the change are pets. Dr. Huff with Midway Animal Hospital said springing forward an hour is typically easier for pets to adjust to than when we fall back an hour in the fall.

"Generally there aren't issues with shifting the feeding routine an hour later, but if you're able to then it's best to keep your pet on the same schedule," said Dr. Huff.

"If they eat at 8 am and 6 pm now, then feed them at 9 and 7 after the time change. Many people feed their pets around their work schedule and are unable to accommodate for the shift in feeding time, so a good option would be to set up an automatic feeder for their pets" he said. 

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