Ready or not, daylight saving time ends this weekend. At 2a.m. on November 7th we set the clocks back an hour, which gives us an extra hour of sleep. And even though this time change is easier on our bodies than when we lose an hour of sleep in spring with the start of daylight saving time, it’s still an adjustment to our schedule, which can take some getting used to.
Psychologist and sleep specialist Courtney Bancroft says the change most people will notice with their sleep is naturally waking up earlier, and that’s not a bad thing. She explains that the jarring effects of alarm clocks can actually trigger the fight-or-flight response, but on the flip side, waking up naturally has a gentle effect on the body. Want to make the time change adjustment even easier on your body?Bancroft recommends one of these plans:
Option one:Four days before the time change - This one shifts your bedtime and wake time by 15 minutes a day.
- If your usual bedtime is 11p.m. and you get up at 7a.m., four days before the time change, go to bed at 11:15 and get up at 7:15.
- Then three days before, move it to 11:30 and 7:30, and two days before, make it 11:45 and 7:45.
- And finally, the night of Saturday, November 6th, go to bed at midnight, and the time change happens at 2a.m., so you’ll wake up at 7a.m. having gotten your full eight hours of sleep and you can go back to your normal bedtime.
Option two:Two days before - A simple, but effective two-day plan.
- Instead of going to bed at 11p.m. and rising at 7a.m., try staying up until 11:30 on November 6th.
- Then sleep in until 7a.m. on November 7th, after the time change.
- This gives you an extra half hour of sleep and Bancroft says it helps you “adjust more quickly, less drastically.”
Option three:The night before - A good option for early risers.
- Go to bed on November 6th at 11p.m. and wake up at 6a.m. instead of 7.
- That night, you may start to feel tired closer to 10pm, so go to bed then and get up at 7 the next morning to get back on track.