Iowa Sleep Blog

Myths Busted: Daylight Savings Time and Sleep

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday Nov. 2 at 2 a.m. marks the end of Daylight Savings Times and the luxury of gaining back an extra hour of sleep. Many of us can’t wait to spend an extra hour in bed Sunday morning, but make sure you are well prepared for the switch. There are many myths and opinions on how to use this extra hour of sleep, so we’re here to lead you in the right direction. Below are a few common thoughts and misperceptions surrounding the end of Daylight Saving Time.

You should turn back all your clocks when you wake up on Sunday: FALSE

Before you turn in Saturday night, be sure to switch back all your clocks, recheck alarms you have set and confirm any Sunday morning plans you may have. Resetting all your clocks before you go to bed allows you to start your Sunday morning on the right foot - and you’ll make it to brunch on time!

Leading up to Daylight Saving Time, let the kiddos say up a little later than normal: TRUE

While this sounds strange, it can make the transition to your new schedule easier. During the week leading up to the fall back, push bedtime back a little (15 minutes) each night. Continue to have them wake up at the same time each day, even though after the time change, that may be an hour earlier than normal. Eventually their bodies will phase out the difference and return to normal.

Gaining an extra hours of sleep means I can stay up an hour longer: FALSE

While it certainly is tempting to stay out a little later Saturday night, use this as an opportunity to catch up on sleep you may be missing during the week by waking up and going to sleep at your usual time. In the U.S., 20 percent of our population is sleep deprived. By sleeping that extra hour, you will help your body reduce its sleep deficit, which will help you feel better and be more productive throughout the next week.

The best way to adjust to the change is to stick to your normal schedule: TRUE

By maintaining your normal sleep schedule during the time change, you are giving your body an extra hour of sleep you don’t normally get, as we discussed previously. For the first couple days, your body will experience “jet lag” to the time change, similar to a trip from New York to Chicago. It will take time to adjust, but in that time, it’s important to continue with your routine sleep schedule and monitor your caffeine and alcohol intake. Even though that afternoon soda or cup of coffee may be tempting, resist as it can make falling asleep later that much harder. If you find you struggle to adjust to the time changes, you can get a head start by adjusting your schedule in small segments one week before the change.

The last tip we would like to share: go to bed a little earlier on Sunday. You’ll be energized, rested and ready to take on another week!