It’s That Time Again: Tips for Adjusting the Start and End of Daylight Saving Time

FRIDAY, March 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) — When clocks go forward or backward, many people have difficulty adjusting.

The change to Daylight Savings Time every spring is the hardest for people, both mentally and physically.

Research has found that people who “leap forward” have a higher short-term risk of heart attacks, strokes, traffic accidents, emergency room visits, and mood problems.

Experts say that lack of sleep due to jet lag can also affect thinking, decision making and productivity.

That’s because the switch disrupts your normal patterns of daylight and disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm, the internal clock that helps regulate sleep and other bodily functions, says the Sleep Foundation.

Fortunately, some simple routines can help a person better cope with the infection, experts say.

Daylight saving time is a one-hour clock adjustment observed in most of the United States. It starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November.

Then, from November to March, the clocks are set back one hour from standard time.

The Sleep Foundation says the transition to a standard time drop is associated with fewer health problems, but getting an extra hour of sleep won’t help people who suffer from long-term problems with lack of sleep.

People can prepare for the start of Daylight Saving Time by doing the following:

Gradually adjust your sleep schedule over the week before the time change.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends going to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier each day as the transition approaches. The schedule of other regular activities like meals and exercise can also be gradually increased. These initial changes can help people get acclimated before the actual change.

Get a good night’s sleep beforehand.

People may sleep a little more than before to better cope with the change, essentially building up a “sleep bank.” Studies have shown that storing sleep with the expectation of short periods of rest can reduce the brain fog that comes with a lack of good rest.

Reserving extra sleep can make it easier to stay awake during the day and avoid falling asleep.

Try relaxation techniques.

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation, can calm the mind and body and make it easier to fall asleep, especially if a person is moving their sleep schedule to prepare. Of summer.

If people wake up in the middle of the night because of the time change, relaxation methods can also help them get back to sleep.

Set your clocks to the new time before you go to bed.

Even though clock changing doesn’t officially start until 2 a.m. Sunday, setting clocks and home clocks before bed can help people get to work and avoid any scheduling mishaps. .

Many cell phones and other devices automatically switch between daylight saving time and standard time. People can see if those settings are active or adjust them before going to bed.

Prefer exposure to daylight.

Daylight drives circadian rhythms, so people should make time for sun exposure in the days following the transition to daylight saving time. This can help adjust the body’s internal clock to match time changes.

The researchers said natural light helps support circadian rhythms, even on cloudy days. People should plan to go out in the morning and soak up some sunlight, or at least sit near a window with the curtains open to enjoy natural light.

Prepare for sleep interruptions.

It’s a good idea to take precautions if the time change interferes with sleep. People should try to keep their schedules simple on Sundays and Mondays after the time change, scheduling important meetings or events for weekends after they have had time to adjust. It may also be a good idea to avoid long trips, so that drowsy driving doesn’t increase the risk of a traffic accident.

Practice good sleep hygiene.

Good sleep habits throughout the year can help with the transition to daylight saving time. People can help themselves sleep by maintaining a set sleep schedule during the week and on weekends; Limit or avoid caffeine or alcohol in the afternoon and evening; Go “device-free” at least half an hour before bed; Block unwanted noise and light in the bedroom; Use a sleep mask or earplugs; And choose a supportive mattress and comfortable bedding.

Eat a healthy diet.

A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables provides the body with essential nutrients and is linked to better sleep. People should eat dinner at least a few hours before bedtime, limit heavy and spicy foods at dinner time, and avoid caffeinated beverages.

Take a short nap if necessary.

People who become particularly lethargic after the time change may want to take a quick nap. Stick to naps of less than 30 minutes to avoid the jitters that come with long naps as well as increase alertness.

It’s best to take a nap in the early afternoon, when people are most likely to feel sleepy. Napping too long in the afternoon or evening can make it difficult to fall asleep at night, making it difficult to alter a person’s sleep schedule.

Preparation for ‘shock’

Most people would agree that the extra hour of sleep they get at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November isn’t hard to adjust to.

“That said, the end of daylight savings time may still affect circadian rhythms and people may have difficulty adjusting to waking hours up to a week after it ends,” the Sleep Foundation said. ”

The transition to fall is harder for people who may already be sleep-deprived, because getting extra hours isn’t always enough to “wake up.” So, the Sleep Foundation encourages people to look at that Sunday in November as “an opportunity to improve your sleep habits and get adequate amounts of rest every night.”

Source: Dream Foundation, press release, February 28, 2024

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