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Overcoming Daylight Savings Time (DST) Sleep Loss

Overcoming Daylight Savings Time (DST) Sleep Loss

Written By Lisa A. Liberatore, MD FACS, Founder and Medical Director of Totum Health

Daylight savings time (DST) starts this Sunday, March 8th when we push the clocks ahead from 2:00 AM to 3:00 AM. That one hour difference doesn’t seem like a lot but it actually does have effect on our bodies. There is a higher rate of heart attacks and higher rate of car accidents during the spring daylight savings time.

That’s because lack of sleep or disruption of our bodies sleep cycle puts a stress on our bodies. That stress raises our cortisol or stress hormone and also the reduced amount of restful sleep makes us more fatigued during the day.

What to do?
Take sleep seriously and prioritize it. It could only take you 1-2 days to acclimate to the change of DST.

Here are some helpful tips  helpful tips for overcoming sleep disruptions caused by daylight savings time (DST):

  • Figure out the time you normally wake up and count backwards 7 hours taking into account the lack of one hour for DST.
  • Try to optimize your chances of getting a full night sleep by planning ahead.
  • Exercise earlier in the day on Saturday.
  • Limit excessive artificial light at least 1 hour before the bedtime.
  • Take a hot shower or bath one hour before bedtime because the process of cooling down helps your body sleep.

Some people even wear special Amber glasses to help limit blue light exposure to optimize one’s own melatonin secretion (which is our sleep hormone). Check out www.lowbluelightglasses.com to learn about these glasses and the science behind how they work.

Sleep is to be treasured and respected because it is the best way to stay healthy , think clearly and look younger!

Happy Spring!

Sincerely,

Lisa A. Liberatore, MD FACS

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