The end of Daylight Saving time hurts my sleep and my health.

The end of Daylight Saving time hurts my sleep and my health.

6 Apr 2020 12:00 AMRosemary Clancy

I end up with less sleep than during daylight saving. How? Isn't it supposed to be the other way?

Let me explain.  

During daylight saving the sun rises around 7am and falls at summer's peak around 8-9pm. If I have a regular 11pm - 7am sleep period, with rapid sleep onset, then I am falling asleep 2-3 hours after nightfall during daylight saving.  

When daylight saving ends and I set my clock back one hour, nightfall goes from approximately 8pm to 7pm overnight.  My 11pm bedtime is now 4 hours after nightfall and growing (by mid-winter nightfall is 6pm, so my sleep is 5 hours after nightfall).

Near the end of daylight saving my entrained circadian rhythm has my core body temperature minimum at around 5am, and I'm habitually woken by the sun at 7am.  As soon as the clock is set back one hour, I now wake with the 6am sunrise (ie 11pm -6am) so my night's sleep is now one hour less than it was before daylight saving ended. According to #Matthew Walker I will now likely suffer negative health effects from this newly reduced sleep quantity, unless I train myself to sleep from an earlier hour.  Sure enough, every autumn, within a week or 2 of these shorter sleeps, I catch a respiratory bug.

In winter, to keep a sleep onset 2-3 hours after sunset, my bedtime would have to be 8-9pm (straight after dinner!), almost impossible in a busy household of 2 adults and 3 teens. 

In summary my sleep (and general health) is better during daylight saving, and consistently worse after daylight saving ends. And you?     

 

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The end of Daylight Saving time hurts my sleep and my health.

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