Learn how you can prepare for daylight saving time
Daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. When local daylight time is about to reach 2 a.m. on Sunday, clocks are turned forward to 3 a.m.
It may sound trite to be concerned about losing just one hour of sleep, but with so many Americans juggling a full schedule and a growing dependence on technology that keeps us up late, many people are already struggling to get the full seven to nine hours we need. When we lose that extra hour, we put ourselves at risk of sleep deprivation, which can impair our daytime performance and have consequences like increased weight gain and improper glucose utilization.
Our sleep patterns are controlled by an internal clock called the circadian rhythm, which runs on a slightly longer than 24-hour cycle. Essentially, the circadian rhythm is behind our body’s natural tendency to want to be awake when the sun is out and head to bed when it sets. Our circadian rhythm is modified by light with bright morning light setting the body clock earlier and bright evening light (even from handheld electronics) pushing the body clock later.
When we work against the circadian rhythm by ignoring our body’s desire to sleep and wake at routine times, we often lose out on the total hours of sleep we get – and equally as important, the quality of that sleep. Daylight saving time is problematic because when the clocks on the wall change our internal clock lags behind.