The first day of November means it’s time to “fall back,” leaving us with one more hour to rest at night.
By contrast, daylight saving time’s beginning in the spring typically means commuting to work in the dark and having longer days. While fall and winter days will be shorter, it can have its perks.
“In general, 'losing’ an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than ‘gaining’ an hour in the fall,” WebMD reported. “It is similar to airplane travel; traveling east we lose time. An ‘earlier’ bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night. Going west, we fall asleep easily but may have a difficult time waking.”
Sleep experts have called for an end to the practice altogether with leaders from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) writing in a statement that in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine that the U.S. should have a “fixed, national, year-round standard time.”
“Permanent, year-round standard time is the best choice to most closely match our circadian sleep-wake cycle,” said the report’s lead author Dr. M. Adeel Rishi, a Mayo Clinic sleep specialist, in a press release. “Daylight saving time results in more darkness in the morning and more light in the evening, disrupting the body’s natural rhythm.”
However, daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1 and there are ways you can prepare for it and get your sleep on track, according to Healthline.
Start preparing ahead of time
Adjust your bedtime to hit the sack 15 minutes earlier in the days leading up to daylight saving time ending.
“By daylight saving on Sunday night, your body will have gradually adjusted to the new time change," Whitney Roban, a psychologist and family, educational and corporate sleep specialist told NBC News Better.
Maintain a sleep schedule
Once you’ve adjusted your bedtime, stick with it — even on Friday night.
According to SleepFoundation.org, going to sleep and awakening at the same time daily is part of healthy sleep hygiene and can help prep you for changes in time. People should get at least seven hours of sleep nightly when transitioning from daylight saving time, the organization said.
Decrease your caffeine intake
Many people rely on coffee to help them wake up, but when it comes to adjusting to fall hours, you may want to slow down on drinking so many cups of joe.
“Avoid any caffeine after lunchtime,” Dr. Jose Puangco, a neurologist specializing in sleep medicine at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, told Healthline. “The effects of caffeine can linger for many hours after being consumed and can hinder you from sleep.”
Skip the screens ahead of bedtime
Studies have shown that using phones, computers and watching TV at bedtime may mean poorer quality of sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that exposure to blue light around two hours before bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night.
Take a nap
While sleep recommendations have put naps on the back burner, research has shown that taking naps may not be so bad for you. You don’t have to skip napping completely if you find you’re feeling drowsy, but there are times you should avoid taking them to make sure it doesn’t impact your nighttime rest. Mayo Clinic Health System has some tips on how to get the most out of napping.