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MVH Sleep Specialist Offers Tips for Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend and that means it's time to "spring forward." For many of us, though, it feels like we are losing an hour of much-needed sleep.

Kevin Huban, PsyD, D,ABSM, CBSM, clinical director of Miami Valley Hospital's Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders, "The issue is how to realign one's sleep schedule to the new time. In effect, you are experiencing a 1 hour jet lag as if you went from Chicago to New York. The trick is to become established fully on the new schedule as soon as possible to facilitate adaptation."

Dr. Huban suggests the following to adjust to the time change:

  • Go to bed on the Daylight Savings Time schedule on Saturday night. Since this will put you to bed one hour earlier, you may not be able to sleep. If you can go to sleep earlier, that is preferable, but, if you cannot, do not fight it and just go to sleep at your usual Standard Time schedule.
  • No matter how you sleep on Saturday night, get up on Sunday morning on the new Daylight Savings time schedule. Sleeping in will only delay your adaptation to the new schedule. The more you stabilize your wake time on Daylight Savings Time, the more rapid will be your adaptation. This is the single most important thing you can do to help you adjust to Daylight Savings Time. 
  • When you get up, it is helpful to engage in a walk or some exercise to help your body wake up and establish itself on the earlier hour. Spending time in bright light or sunshine early in the morning will also be beneficial. If it is a nice day, a walk outside on Sunday morning will help you adjust.
  • Keep active on Sunday and avoid daytime napping.
  • Maintain a stable, regular sleep schedule on DST over the next few days. You should be able to adapt within 2 to 3 days.