How to prepare for Daylight Saving Time

NOW: How to prepare for Daylight Saving Time

SAINT JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --While it will be an extra hour of evening light for many months ahead, there’s actually many negative side effects of the time change, according to Saint Joseph Sleep Medicine's nurse practitioner Anna Matulewicz.    

The health risks for the loss of hour sleep are decreased productivity at work and school and the days afterwards and a heightened risk of mood disturbances and hospital admissions. Studies even show more car crashes happen because of the time change.   

“It’s actually worse for our sleep health and our overall health. A lot of people like springing forward because it’s lighter, longer into the night, evening. We get more sunlight during the week hours but it’s worse for us health wise. It's interesting because we always look forward to the spring forward and not think about the fact that we lose an hour of sleep, we’re going to feel worse afterwards for a couple of months, weeks up to losing that hour of sleep,” Matulewicz said. 

Matulewicz says the most important thing to do is to go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier each day before the time change. She says that way we’re not losing an hour of sleep all at once, we’re slowly transitioning.  

Although the official time change isn't until 2AM, she says before bed, adjust your watch and all the household clocks to the new time. This enables you to get going right away and steer clear of any scheduling conflicts on Sunday.  

She additionally suggests plan to spend Sunday, the day after the time change, outside preferably get out in the morning, to get some sun exposure and lessen the disruptions to your sleep. 

“Overall focusing on our sleep and making sure we’re getting adequate sleep year-round. A lot of us we’re busy, we work, we’re at school, all of the above. Most of the time when we’re busy and we don’t have time for things. Sleep is the first thing that gets sacrificed, so we tend to go to bed later, have to get up earlier. And long-term, that cause bad health outcomes. I like the time change and how it focuses on sleep health” Matulewicz said. 

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