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Teenage Sleep Problems and Daylight Savings: Prepare to Spring Forward

We know it’s coming. It happens every year. We think we can prepare for it. We can’t.

Someone invented Daylight Saving Time to save energy. That may be true in the fossil fuel sense of the word, but it doesn’t save Mom any energy. The only instance subtraction equals savings for me is with a coupon in my hand at the supermarket.

Teenage Sleep And Daylight Savings Problems

This Mom has the morning routine down to a science. But every March, just as the sunrise starts to sync with the alarm clock, “Spring Forward” slams the morning routine into zombie mode as if to taunt me and say, “Come on. You’ve been doing this since September, what’s an hour?”

But I have been doing this since September, and so has my teenage daughter. Losing an hour of sleep when we’re this tired and so close to the end of the school year – it’s just cruel.

What’s so urgent that the change can’t wait ‘til spring break?

Preparation

The experts say to power down any electronics at least a half hour before bedtime. I only can assume this is so the kids will exhaust themselves raging at the injustice of having their phones taken away so Mom can follow the next bit of advice.

Go to bed early. This works because my kid is already in her room not speaking to me because – no phone. So, I’m free to stare at the ceiling until midnight and stress about the next day’s exhaustion.

Daylight Saving Time happens at 2am on Sunday morning each year to give people a day to adjust before their work week begins. The reminders to change the clock are everywhere – on the radio and on social media. But I still wake up Sunday morning and ask, “What time is it? I mean, what’s the real time?”

And then I change the clock on the stove to match my smartphone that automatically adjusts.

DST Monday

I like to say it using the acronym. “D-S-T Monday.” It sounds more like the championship battle that it really is. It’s the annual testing of morning mom skills.

After brewing coffee, I listen for sounds of life through my daughter’s bedroom door. She’s old enough to set her own alarm and has perfected the roll-out-of-bed-and-out-the-door routine. But D-S-T Monday is different.

Knock. Knock. “You up?”

“Groooaan.”

I give her five more minutes while I do the outside-and-back-in potty routine with the dog.

I knock again.

“Do I really have to go today?” she asks, her voice muted by a bed pillow.

“Come on, let’s get moving…” I nag over and over again.

“Whyyyy?” She wails. I eyeball the coffee and wonder why myself.

You can carry toddlers kicking and screaming when they don’t want to go somewhere.

You can usually negotiate with a stubborn grade schooler.

But sleep-deprived teenagers are tough. Teenage sleep problems are harder to solve. Luckily, I’ve got K-9 back up.

I open her bedroom door and toss dog treats into the bed covers.

“Mom!” She protests while the bloodhound noses under covers and chomps on biscuits.

I nod, satisfied she’s sufficiently alert.

Later, when she gives me side-eye in the kitchen and reaches for the coffee, I offer her a sleepy smile and a travel mug for the drive to school.

She’ll get to drink hers.

Mine slides off the roof of the car when we turn out of the drive.

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer, wife, and mom of three kids whose ages span two decades. Find her on Social Media @WriterBonnie