With the onset of summer time, clocks are advanced by one hour. This seemingly small adjustment may actually create some risks to sleep quality during the transition between Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time.
These risks include insomnia, mood disorders, headaches and even sleep problems if circadian rhythms are not aligned with the natural cycles of light and dark.
How Daylight Saving Time Affects Sleep
The human being is guided by circadian rhythms, that is, 24-hour cycles that regulate sleep and other bodily functions, such as appetite and mood.
The new daylight saving time means darker mornings and more light at night, which can “slow down” the sleep-wake cycle, making us feel tired in the morning and alert at night.
Circadian misalignment can contribute to sleep loss as well as “sleep debt” i.e. the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Tips for sleeping better during the time change
In the days leading up to the time changes, we can prepare for the time adjustment by taking the following precautions:
Practice good sleep hygiene
Establish a consistent sleep routine
Gradually change your bedtime
spend time outdoors
Use spring-adapted bedding
Naps in moderation
Do not consume caffeine close to bedtime
The best way to prevent the time change from affecting your sleep is to prepare for your sleep transition between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time.
Create sleep behavior routines that not only favor adaptation, but also ensure restful, quality sleep throughout the year. Even because a recent study ensures that in addition to the already known benefits, a healthy sleep can extend life expectancy by up to 5 years.