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Everything you need to know about Daylight Saving Time sleep problems and how to prepare for the upcoming “spring forward” on March 13th!
This year’s “spring forward” to Daylight Saving Time is just around the corner. On March 13th, many Americans will participate in setting their clocks forward by one hour. While losing an hour of sleep may not seem too drastic of a change, sleep experts have observed a few daylight saving time sleep problems. For example, research shows an increase in the number of people who say they feel more sluggish due to this sleep disturbance. However, there are ways to combat feeling tired and worn down by prepping for this change!
It is critical to explain the history of Daylight Saving to fully understand the daylight saving time sleep problems associated with it.
Daylight Saving Time, proposed by a New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, was originally a two-hour time shift in October and March to allow more time to work before sunset. In 1916, this practice became widely accepted when a few areas within Germany began setting their clocks ahead by one hour to save on power and electricity costs during the war. In 1918, the United States adopted this seasonal time shift for the first time. However, this attempt only lasted for seven months before being dropped.
During World War II, President Roosevelt reinstated the concept of daylight savings with “War Time.” War Time lasted until 1945 and reappeared again in 1966 as part of the Uniform Time Act. Over the next few decades, the United States would experiment with different variations of daylight savings. Since 2007, the United States, excluding Hawaii, Arizona, and U.S. territories, has followed Daylight Saving Time by “falling back” in November and “springing forward” in March.
The human body follows an internal circadian rhythm—a cycle regulating sleep. The circadian rhythm also controls other critical bodily functions such as moods and appetite. While each person is on a slightly different schedule, many people wake with the sunrise and tire with the sunset.
Any disturbance to these rhythms can negatively affect the body, creating daylight saving time sleep problems. Time changes such as this confuse the body’s circadian rhythm. With the upcoming “spring forward,” Americans will experience darker mornings as the sun rises later. While the actual time of the sunrise won’t change, people across the globe will move their clocks back an hour, thus getting up earlier than usual. Over time, we adjust to this change and benefit from the brighter evenings.
Planning for a time change can reduce daylight saving time sleep problems. As March 13th quickly approaches, you can prepare for the upcoming time change by following these tips:
The first step is to go to bed earlier to adjust your internal sleep schedule. Experts recommend that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, but some people may need more. To ensure the body is sleeping enough each night, practice going to bed and waking up 15-20 minutes earlier each day. A new schedule will help reduce the effects of the “spring forward” time change.
As a schedule is adjusted, it is best to turn it into a routine. As the body adjusts to a new wake and sleep schedule, the circadian rhythm adapts to match it. As part of a routine, include tasks that signal the brain to wake up or wind down, such as brushing your teeth. Click here to learn more of Kyvno’s tips for finding and keeping a routine to help with daylight saving time sleep problems.
People with good sleep hygiene are more likely to fall asleep faster, stay asleep for longer, and experience fewer disturbances during the night. Sleep hygiene, or the overall health of sleep, can be positively influenced by healthy lifestyle decisions. These lifestyle changes can include a comfortable and clean bedroom environment, sleeping on the right mattress, and following healthy habits such as making the bed. Sleep hygiene is highly personal and will vary from person to person. However, it is fundamental to your lasting sleep health, especially in preparation for daylight savings time.
Natural light guides the body’s internal clock through the circadian rhythm schedule. When the time change occurs, the body will feel sluggish for a few days, but sun exposure can help! The sun helps the brain feel more awake by suppressing the production of melatonin, a naturally occurring sleep hormone. Take a break during the day and spend some time outside to help with daylight saving time sleep problems.
When in doubt, taking a short 15-20 minute nap during the day is always an option. However, it is recommended to keep naps under 20 minutes, as longer naps may increase feelings of sluggishness.
While improving sleep can be affected by better habits, great sleep ultimately depends on the quality of a bed. Looking to improve your sleep habits and avoid daylight saving time sleep problems? Shop the most affordable, all-inclusive bed kit on the market at Kyvno.com or give our Kyvno Care Team a call to learn more.