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Sharp Health News

Daylight Saving Time and your sleep

Oct. 30, 2015

Sleep patterns

The end of Daylight Saving Time means going to work and school in the daylight, but coming home in the dark. But are there any negative effects it can have on your sleep? We asked Dr. Gary Levinson, internal medicine doctor at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group.

Can the end of Daylight Saving Time interrupt my sleep pattern?
One hour of time change should have a minimal effect on people, in general. You may feel more fatigued in the late afternoon. Teens will do better with waking up in the morning — the time change mirrors their natural circadian rhythm — but the opposite could be felt by seniors who might not do as well, as their rhythms are usually regulated to getting up early and going to bed early.

What steps should I take to mitigate the effects?
Maximize your exposure to light during the day and minimize artificial light at night, especially TV, computers or smartphones in bed.

Can I take advantage of the extra hour of sleep?
Yes, take advantage of the extra hour of sleep. The extra hour will help anyone who is a bit chronically sleep-deprived.

Should I go to bed at the same time, an hour earlier or an hour later the night before Daylight Saving Time ends?
I recommend no change to your sleep time the night before. Kids could take advantage of the extra hour by enjoying an extra hour up if parents allow. Initially you may feel like going to bed earlier as your body clock is preprogrammed an hour ahead, so try to push through and stay up to your normal bed time, otherwise you will wake up an hour earlier than usual. The general rule is that it will take one day for every hour change to adjust, so you should be acclimated after a day or two.

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