End of Daylight Savings Time Impact Q&A
If you have questions about daylight savings and how it is going to impact your health, talk to our providers at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For more information, contact us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/ Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
Table of Contents:
Does the end of daylight savings mean more sleep?
Why does daylight savings make me feel weird?
How do I fix my sleep schedule after daylight savings?
How long does it take your body to adjust to daylight savings time?
Daylight savings time is an annual change to the clocks in most parts of the world that begins soon before spring and ends a few weeks before winter. In the United States, daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. This means that the time change is an hour of daylight in the morning and an hour of darkness in the evening. Most people who live in areas where daylight savings time is in effect think of it as an extra hour of sleep; the opposite is also true: we often “miss” an hour of sleep when it starts, which can have all kinds of effects on quality of life.
This is a complex question, with many potential implications. DST changes the natural cycle of day and night, which can affect people’s sleep habits in a variety of ways. For example, people who are used to routinely waking up early may have difficulty falling asleep at their regular time on DST, while people who are used to sleeping in may find themselves getting up too early on DST. There are countless potential situations that can arise from DST changes. Because we get an “extra” hour, we could use it to sleep in and therefore get more sleep. However, this change only affects one day, so there will likely be no further possibilities to get “more” sleep.
Many people report feeling weird during daylight savings changeovers; not only do we lose an hour of sleep in the spring, but our circadian rhythm—our internal clock responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycle—gets out of whack, which may cause us to feel off. Plenty of people experience brain fog, fatigue or other unpleasant symptoms following the time change.
The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated; the brain needs a little time to prepare to get used to the new schedule. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a myriad of physical diseases as common as a cold and as severe as diabetes or heart failure.
Because we lose one hour of sleep in the spring, there is a possibility of feeling tired. For some, it might not mean much. But for others, it can cause harm, such as an increased risk of traffic accidents, heart attack, and workplace injuries due to lack of sleep.
Daylight savings can be a difficult adjustment for many people. There are certain things you can do to improve your sleep schedule after daylight savings, including:
– Stick to Your Normal Sleep/Wake Schedule
– Cut Down on Caffeine and Sugar
– Exercise (Outside, in the Early Morning)
– Develop Bedtime Rituals
– Turn Down the Thermostat
– Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
– Spend Time Outdoors and in Nature
– Limit Blue Light Exposure
– Supplement with Magnesium
To adjust to daylight savings time changes, it can take a day to a week for most people. However, this varies from person to person. Being out in the sun and air during spring can help you adjust more quickly, and the same is true during the fall. During these time changes, it is important to receive as much natural light as possible; your body uses this light as a guide for falling asleep and waking up. Artificial light, such as from lightbulbs, TV screens, computers and smartphones, can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it ever more difficult to adjust to these changes.
If you are having trouble adjusting to daylight savings, the team at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders can help. Call us today to book an appointment with our sleep specialist, or visit one of our locations!