Saturday, March 7, 2009

Daylight Saving Time Begins: Spring Forward Before You Go to Sleep

For most of the U.S. daylight saving time has arrived again. Officially it begins late tonight at 2 a.m.

If you live in Hawaii or in most parts of Arizona, you get to ignore the time change. Your states already enjoy plenty of daylight.

For the rest of the country, the AASM recommends that you set your clocks ahead one hour in the early evening. Then go to sleep at your normal bedtime. This will help prevent the loss of an hour of sleep.

You can help your body prepare for the early bedtime by changing other routines during the day. Meal times are an important timing cue for your body. Eating lunch and dinner an hour earlier than normal may help adjust your body’s schedule.

Light is another important timing cue. Your body produces more
melatonin as it gets dark at night. This signal lets your body know that it is time to sleep.

So be sure to avoid bright lights this evening and tonight. Close the curtains and dim the lights a little earlier than usual.

If the time change disrupts your sleep tonight, then take it easy tomorrow. It may take your body some time to adjust to the new schedule.

Be careful if you struggle with daytime sleepiness after the time change. Take precautions to avoid drowsy driving.

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