Daylight Saving Time Tips for Sleep


Man sleeping in a bed | Image by Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Clocks sprang forward this weekend, giving us more light in the evenings.

While many would see no reason to find issues with increased light in the evenings, doctors are not fans of Daylight Saving Time (DST), as it can disrupt consistent bedtimes and natural sleep cycles.

A 2018 study, available on the National Library of Medicine website, explored the correlation between DST, cardiovascular health, and circadian rhythm. The study concluded that increased light in the evenings could disrupt circadian rhythms because people may opt for later bedtimes.

Later bedtimes often lead to less sleep, in general, which increases the risk of heart problems.

This is one of the reasons why the American Academy of Sleep Medicine proposed eradicating DST in 2020.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the following sleep tips may help you.

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, including a regular bedtime. If it is dark when you wake up, turn on the lights to make it easier to get out of bed. Light acts as the natural signal of daytime and the end of sleep, helping us wake up when it is present and fall asleep when it is absent.

The same goes for falling asleep. Avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime to get yourself into your natural sleep mode.

While exercise may help you sleep, hitting the gym too close to bedtime may keep you awake. It is best to have at least a 90-minute to a three-hour window between working out and sleeping.

You should also leave yourself at least three hours between eating and sleeping, as higher blood sugar makes it harder to fall asleep.

If you operate best as a night owl, that is fine too, as long as your sleep schedule is consistent and you are getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Sleep can be very dependent on the individual, so it is best to just know yourself and what you need.

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