How to Adjust to Fall Time Change
Time fell back an hour this past weekend. Sleeping in an hour later seems like a great idea to most of us, but the sudden change can disrupt our sleep patterns.
Tips for adjusting to the fall time change include adjusting your sleep schedule, exercising during the day, and limiting caffeine intake.
When is the fall time change?
This year, daylight saving time ended on Sunday, November 6, and we set our clocks back an hour. We’ll have to wait until Sunday, March 12, 2023, for daylight saving time when we set our clocks forward by an hour.
Disruptions in sleep patterns
Sleeping in an extra hour is not as harsh on your body as waking up earlier in the spring, but it still takes about a week for your body to adjust to a new sleep schedule. The sudden change in when it is light and when it is dark disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm.
This disruption to our sleep cycles and hormonal balances can increase anxiety, depression, mental fatigue, and irritability. Missing out on sleep can cause stress, which can make it more difficult to catch up on sleep. Use these tips to make the fall time change easier.
Have a bedtime routine
When daylight saving time ends, insomnia is a common issue and you might have a hard time falling asleep. Stick to a bedtime routine and avoid screentime before bed. Light from devices hinders melatonin and makes falling asleep difficult the same way sunlight does.
Do not take naps or drink more coffee
Do not take naps or drink extra coffee to make up for being tired. This will only disrupt your sleep cycle more. Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime and decrease coffee and alcohol consumption in the week leading up to the time change.
Exercise during the day
Boost your energy with exercise. Take a walk or go for a workout in the morning or afternoon when you start feeling tired. Working out in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Get some sunlight
You’ll need to help reset your internal clock and going for a walk outside can help. Avoid the winter blues by going outside while the sun is still up to increase your serotonin and energy levels and have more energy.
Be careful when walking at night
The fall time change means we can sleep in one hour later and have more daylight in the mornings in winter. But it also means evenings will get darker earlier. Adjust to darker evenings by wearing reflective gear when you walk your dog or go for a run. Take safety precautions when walking to your car in the evenings.