The annual practice to "spring forward" may get more lip service, but every fall, we equally dread the earlier darkness that accompanies the end of daylight saving time (DST). One surprising fact about this time change is that the practice is named daylight saving time, not daylight savings time. It’s called this because waking up earlier would save daylight and, conversely, money spent on energy bills. You may also be surprised to hear that setting our clocks back one hour in the fall can have disadvantages. It can disrupt our internal clock and circadian rhythm, leading to poor sleep habits and increasing our risk of harm or injury.
Keep reading to find out when to turn your clocks back, why daylight saving time can be bad, and what you can do to prepare for this time change.
When Is Daylight Saving Time?
This year, daylight saving time officially ends on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 a.m. Before you go to sleep that evening, turn back each of the clocks in your home one hour. Remember the clocks on your stove and microwave! This marks the end of daylight saving time, returning to standard time until the cycle begins again in March.
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What Are the Health Effects of Daylight Saving Time?
One of the negative effects of daylight saving time is that it can increase car accidents the week following the time change. According to a comprehensive study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, this is true for both the spring and fall time shifts.
You may believe that you can "catch up" on sleep by staying in your SHEEX bedding or cooling sleepwear an extra hour on Nov. 2. However, Harvard Medical School suggests that the time change in your body's daily sleep-wake cycle will disrupt your sleep habits for several days. If you do not prepare in advance, you may experience grogginess and a lack of focus.
How Can I Prepare for Daylight Saving Time?
The best way to avoid a disrupted sleep cycle is to start making adjustments one week in advance. Follow our daylight saving time sleep tips:
- Transition the time you go to bed and the time you wake up by 10 minutes per day in the six days leading up to the time shift. By slowly adjusting your sleep schedule, you will feel less tired, and your internal sleep-wake cycle will maintain some consistency after DST has ended.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon. The stimulant can prevent you from quickly falling asleep. Likewise, skip the alcohol in the evening. Alcohol causes you to wake up frequently during a standard sleep cycle and will worsen any effects felt by the DST shift.
- Stick to a rigorous workout routine. Exercise can help help you fall asleep faster and maintain a deeper, more restorative sleep. During a sleep-wake cycle transition, you should take extra care of your health. Attend a fitness class or go for a run so that your body is prepared for rest when the time comes.
- Evaluate the comfort of your mattress and bedding. Mattresses should be kept no longer than nine years, and if your sheets are not breathable and moisture-wicking, you will be tossing and turning every night. Invest in quality SHEEX Performance Bedding to give yourself the rest you deserve.
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Prepare for Nov. 1, so you can awake refreshed, energized, and right on schedule. See how our unique performance fabric creates the perfect set of sheets for better sleep and a healthier, happier you.