Sleep and Day Light Saving Time

Sleep and Day Light Saving Time-image

Sleep and daylight saving time. There is some discussion of how daylight saving time may temporarily influence our sleep quality. It is only one hour so most of us feel it as a momentary nuisance and then appreciate the extra daytime light. No matter how many times we have “sprung ahead”, each year on the first day of DLT we say, “Wow, it’s still light out” as if it is the first time. It is the same as being surprised by the first snow, the first freeze and the first flower every year. However, there are some reports that “springing forward” each March disrupts our circadian rhythm.

Light regulates circadian rhythm. It seems only a minor disruption to our body clock but statistics show an increase in heart attacks the first Monday after the start of daylight saving time. The auto accident rate goes up for the first full week after turning our clocks ahead. Maybe the extra light at the end of the day is more disruptive to sleep patterns than we imagined. Body clock disruptions cause daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Our memory and concentration may be affected. Light changes compound any existing sleep disorder.

The body clock will adjust to daylight saving time but you might want to help it adjust more quickly. One suggestion is to come inside at the usual time each evening instead of waiting the extra time until dark. This would be especially true for children who want to play outside until the last light. The quality of schoolwork and mood may suffer during that first week, so help them out and make them come in at the same time as always. You can help prepare your family for the time change by waking up ½ hour earlier for 3 days ahead of time and going out into the sunlight right away. If the light wakes you up before your alarm, make use of black out shades. You can always improve your sleep with a soothing memory foam mattress. The best idea is keep to your regular sleeping routine of going to bed and waking up at the usual time.

This website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Live & Sleep is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this website. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.