Daylight Saving Time 2022: How to Reset After Losing an Hour of Sleep – CNET

As your clocks reset, your body’s internal clock needs to reset, too. Here’s how to adjust to the time change as smoothly as possible.
McKenzie Dillon
McKenzie is a certified Sleep Science Coach and mattress expert. She has personally tested over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products. Before she was writing about sleep, she was writing music news for an online entertainment magazine.
Since November, we’ve become accustomed to shorter days, early sunsets and even earlier sunrises. Now that spring is near, however, and the sun is lingering a bit longer in the sky, prepare to adjust your car and microwave clocks for the start of daylight saving time
At 2:00 a.m. on Sunday March 13, the time will jump forward an hour, giving us more daylight in the evening and about an hour more of darkness in the morning. While the time change is a marker that warmer weather is inching closer and closer, it also means you’ll be losing an hour of sleep and your body’s natural alarm clock may be temporarily thrown off track. Here’s how daylight saving time affects your body, and how to adjust to the time change as smoothly as possible.
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Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock, which follows a 24-hour cycle. It plays an important role in dictating your sleep-wake cycle, and it’s heavily influenced by cues from the light and darkness. When daylight saving time kicks in, it can delay your circadian rhythm causing you to feel sleepier in the morning, while it’s still dark, and more energetic in the evening as the sun stays up later. 
If you’ve ever traveled to a region with a different time zone than you’re used to, you’ve likely experienced a similar disruption in your circadian rhythm with what we call « jet lag ». For instance, if you travel from New York to California where there’s a 3-hour time difference, 9 p.m. feels like midnight to your body, and you’re much drowsier than usual.
At first glance, a small change in your routine may not seem drastic. However, studies have shown that disruptions caused by DST can have quite the impact on your sleep hygiene and overall health if you aren’t wary. 
The average person will sleep around 40 minutes less on the Monday following the start of DST, according to one study. Aside from feeling drowsy, experts have also cited (in more serious cases) an increase in workplace accidents, heart attacks, mood swings and even car crashes after switching from standard time (November to March) to daylight saving time. Poor sleep quality and changes in our sleep-wake cycle seem to be driving factors of these events, and it’s a major argument for experts pushing for the abolishment of DST.  
On the flip side of the coin, there has also been research pointing to the benefits of observing DST. While car crash fatalities seem to increase the day after switching from standard time to DST, they have decreased in the long-term, possibly in part because of longer daylight hours. There also seems to be a decline in crime for this reason, since crimes are less likely to occur during daylight hours. 
Separate from human health, DST also promotes less energy consumption. One 2008 study by the Department of Energy found that an additional four weeks of daylight saving time saved 1.3 billion kilowatt hours, the equivalent of the amount of energy used by 100,000 households in a year. 
As experts continue to weigh in on the benefits and drawbacks of Daylight Saving Time and whether we should observe it, there are things you can do to combat its negative side effects in the meantime. 
To promote healthy sleep hygiene and prevent ramifications of losing sleep after daylight saving time, consider following these tips.
1. In the days leading up to the start of DST, go to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier each night to help prepare your body for the time change. Then, on Saturday March 12 before the time change, set your clock ahead an hour and go to bed at your regular time. 
2. Don’t adjust your wake-up time on Sunday morning after the time changes. After a few days to a week, your body will become acclimated to the new time. Instead, consider taking a short 20-minute nap in the afternoons to help give you more energy. Long naps, however, may leave you feeling drowsier. 
3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and unhealthy meals before bed, especially the Saturday before DST kicks in. These substances cause sleep disruptions that keep you from getting the quality 7 to 9 hours of sleep you need to maintain physical and mental health. 
4. If you’re an early riser, go outside the Sunday morning of the time change to get light exposure. Light helps you stay more alert during the daytime, and will reduce the production of melatonin in your body which causes drowsiness. 
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.