It is almost that time - the clocks for most North Americans will turn back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, November 5th
, marking the end of daylight saving time. As a result, the mornings will be darker and the sun will set earlier in the evening, meaning the commute home from work will be a bit gloomier.
Daylight saving time can be a great opportunity to reset your sleep habits, as well as your internal clock. However, changing the clock one hour forward or backward is typically difficult in the first few days or week.
Losing an hour in the spring can leave you feeling groggy for weeks while the extra hour in the fall, as appreciated as it may be, can play havoc with your sleep nonetheless. In autumn, only a minor number of people actually utilize that extra hour of sleep. While having the extra hour may sound like the perfect way to recover after a week of Halloween celebrations, it can be surprisingly difficult on the body. During the following week, many people wake up earlier, have more trouble falling asleep, and are more likely to wake up during the night. To avoid sleep disruption, follow these tips so that when the morning comes, you feel fresh and ready to face the day!
Go to bed at your usual time.
When you set your clock back each fall, "your circadian rhythms will cause you to want to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than your external environment," says Dr. Ilene Rosen, who serves on the board of directors for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and is board-certified in sleep medicine. "One of the biggest mistakes that people make ... is staying up later and thinking that they're going to get an extra hour of sleep," she adds. To stay on track, make sure you maintain your normal bedtime routine.
Use sunlight to your advantage.
Although the fall time-change is easier than in the spring, it is still important you make a conscious effort to expose yourself to light at the appropriate times. To help ease the transition, expose yourself to as much late afternoon sun as you can prior to daylight saving. After the switch, getting as much exposure to morning sunlight that you can will be beneficial.
Take your time.
"If you work a non-traditional schedule, or have a little extra time in the morning, it might ease the transition if you go to sleep and wake up 10-15 minutes later each day the week before the time change," says Dr. Rosen. Still feeling tired? Taking in a nap can help fight temporary drowsiness for those struggling to switch their body clocks back to standard time
What can we conclude? There may be some sleepy people hitting the streets Monday morning. Stay safe by taking extra caution during your commute.
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