For the start of DST, we set our clocks forward one hour on the second Sunday of March at 2 a.m., which results in one hour less sleep that night. Then, at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November, we turn our clocks back one hour.
Adjusting the time by one hour might not seem like a huge change, but experts have noted troubling trends during the transition between standard time and DST, especially in March.
How daylight-saving time affects sleep
Humans and other mammals are guided by circadian rhythms, which are 24-hour cycles that regulate sleep and other key bodily functions such as appetite and mood. These rhythms are largely dependent on light exposure.
They must be synchronized with natural light-dark cycles, in order to reset each day to ensure healthy, high-quality sleep. The transition between DST and Standard Time results in darker mornings and longer evening light.
This can essentially “delay” your sleep-wake cycle, leaving you feeling tired in the morning and alert in the evening. Circadian misalignment can contribute to sleep deprivation as well as “sleep debt,” which refers to the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Humans are most sensitive to sleep loss in early March, as they transition from standard time to DST. In addition to lack of sleep, people during both bi-annual transition periods are at higher risk of mood disturbance, suicide, and being involved in traffic accidents. However, experts suggest that accidents have decreased in the long term as more people walk home from work during daylight hours.
daylight saving time sleep tips
In the days and weeks ahead, you can prepare yourself for the adjustment by practicing good sleep hygiene, establishing a consistent sleep routine, spending time outside, taking naps during the day, and limiting your coffee intake. Are.
There is legislation in Congress to make daylight saving time permanent, meaning clocks will stay on spring and summer time and not go back for fall and winter. While it may seem desirable to have more daylight hours, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine advocates that we stick to standard time permanently, as it is more in line with a person’s natural bio-rhythms and has fewer negative health effects. produces results.