Categories: Sleep Science

How Daylight Savings Time Affects Your Sleep

That extra hour of sleep may add a little bit of spring in your step when coming off of Daylight Saving Time, but it has a decidedly different impact from what you may expect. Changing your body clock is never as simple as dialing the numbers on the clock back or forward an hour once a year.

The Origins of Daylight Saving Time

It was Benjamin Franklin who first posed the idea of Daylight Saving Time, believing people could be more efficient if they would rise earlier in order to take advantage of the daylight instead of burning oil for light well into the night.

The actuality of Daylight Saving Time didn’t come into play until centuries later, during World War I when Germany adopted it in order to conserve coal for the war effort. Other nations quickly followed suit.

Daylight Saving Time and Sleep

While proponents of Daylight Saving Time argue that later hours of daylight promote healthy active lifestyles, the impact to the circadian rhythms of people, or internal body clocks, never fully adjust to that extra hour, according to National Geographic. For the majority of the population, this lack of adjustment results in marked decreases in productivity and quality of life, along with increased tiredness and susceptibility to illnesses. Business Insider reports that there is a spike in the number of heart attacks that occur in the first week of DST.

The problem, according to Till Roenneberg of Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, is that shifting the hours of daylight from morning to night doesn’t help. It only creates a societal form of jet lag. He specifically states that “Light doesn’t do the same things to the body in the morning and the evening. More light in the morning would advance the body clock, and that would be good. But more light in the evening would even further delay the body clock.”

Minimizing the Impact of Daylight Saving Time on Sleep

Since changing the laws in states and nations takes time and the legislative pull most of us lack, aside from writing letters to local lawmakers as well as those in Washington, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands in order to minimize the jetlag impact of DST. These are a few things the Huffington Post recommends.

  • Exercise later in the day. While this defies traditional wisdom, switching your workout routine to late afternoons or early evenings can help keep you energized in the evening once it begins to get dark earlier in the day.
  • Consider bright light therapy. Using lamps that mimic natural sunlight can help you get the healing benefits of natural sunlight even if you’re not exposed to as much natural sunlight during your day.

As daylight saving time comes to an end, don’t forget the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Try creating a nightly bedtime ritual that signals your brain that it’s time to sleep, and consider switching your mattress to a natural latex mattress, which delivers firm support and other benefits that make it ideal for sleeping well throughout the night.

Link to Us!

If you found this article useful and shareable, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog: [code]Learn More about Getting a Better Night’s Sleep with Organic and Natural Latex Mattresses at <a href=””>PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog</a>.[/code]

(Visited 64 times, 1 visits today)
    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

    Recent Posts

    How to Build a Bedtime Routine for You AND Your Kids

    How many times have you jumped into bed, turned the lights off, got comfortable under your sheets, and then you… Read More

    2 days ago

    The 10 Most Powerful Daily Habits to Transform Your Health

    Whether your interests are to improve your health in general, avoid a specific medical condition, or to improve a health… Read More

    1 week ago

    Organic and Natural Teas That May Help You Fall Asleep

    People love tea. If provides a similar boost as coffee in alertness, but has less caffeine. Therefore, it doesn't interfere… Read More

    1 week ago

    What is a Weighted Blanket and What Are Its Benefits?

    For many individuals, a weighted blanket has become a routine part of healthy sleep habits and stress relief, and for… Read More

    2 weeks ago

    Sleep and Aging

    As you get older, you may experience bodily changes that can impact how you sleep. These changes may frequently become… Read More

    1 month ago

    Health Benefits of Napping

    If you’re like many individuals in today’s busy society, you aren't getting enough rest. Whether you’re binge-watching TV into the… Read More

    2 months ago