It’s the end of time as we know it! – Daylight Savings Time that is.
It’s no secret. Here at Chili we love sleep. There is a ton of research to prove the value of sleep, and these days, people are starting to recognize just how important it is! In fact, a survey from the Better Sleep Council found that 30% of Americans think an extra hour of sleep a night is worth $100 or more.
With daylight savings time coming to an end, most of us are thinking, “Score! Another hour of sleep!”
At 2 AM on the first Sunday of November, everyone gets an hour more sleep, and we all wake up refreshed and happy, right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, the “fall back” can wreak just as much havoc on our sleep (and life) as the “spring forward.” It turns out that extra hour of sleep isn’t really worth that much (and it’s definitely not worth $100).
A study by Dr. Yvonne Harrison of Liverpool John Moores University found that falling back an hour resulted in difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and waking up earlier. These findings showed that, not only were participants not getting an extra hour of sleep, they were actually losing sleep.
Yep, you read that right. “Falling back” actually sets you back sleep-wise.
These adverse effects on sleep occur because time changes (whether backward or forward) disrupt your circadian rhythm. Just a reminder: your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that tells you when to sleep and when to wake. Scientists like Dr. Harrison are hard at work trying to unravel the mysteries of what affects our circadian rhythm and its impact on our overall health and wellbeing. Dr. Harrison’s study showed that a change in your sleep cycle by as little as one hour has the ability to negatively affect your sleep for an entire week.
We don’t know about you, but feeling sleepy for a whole week sounds less than ideal to us.
To prevent this, make sure to reset your sleep schedule when you reset your clock. The National Sleep Foundation states that the time change is a great time to improve your sleep habits.
Since you know the time change will disrupt your typical sleep tendencies, why not use it as an opportunity to make some positive changes? If you don’t have a consistent sleep schedule, make one. Start using your bedroom only for sleep to create a mental association with being in your room and sleeping. Create a relaxing ritual to practice before bed every night. Black out your electronics to make sure your bedroom is completely dark. Test out a new product. You know, like a mattress pad that is scientifically proven to offer unparalleled temperature consistency and control for deep, restorative, uninterrupted sleep (insert winky face emoji).
No matter what sleep improvements you make, when the clock falls back, make sure you move forward. That way, you can actually get the benefits of the extra hour of sleep instead of wondering why you’re still tired.