For anyone who is chronically sleep-deprived, one hour of extra sleep will not erase a sleep debt. However, waking up feeling more refreshed and alert after the time change may help motivate people to prioritize sleep for optimal health.
“It’s encouraging that people are waking up to the importance of sleep for their health and well-being,” said AASM President Dr. Kelly A. Carden. “The end of daylight saving time is a good reminder that sleep is essential for health, and it is an opportunity to make a commitment to talk to a medical provider about any ongoing sleep problems.”
The September 2019 survey of 2,003 U.S. adults asked what they plan to do with the extra hour when daylight saving time ends. “Sleep” was the top response, followed by spending the extra hour with friends and family (13%) and enjoying a relaxing activity (13%). Another 6% plan to do housework and run errands, and 5% plan to catch up on work or studies.
While individual sleep needs vary, everyone should make it a priority to get enough sleep to wake feeling refreshed and alert on a regular basis. Consistently waking up feeling unrefreshed, or struggling to stay awake throughout the day, is a warning sign that either you are not getting enough sleep or you may have an untreated sleep disorder.
For sleep-deprived adults who want to get an extra hour of sleep when daylight saving time ends, the AASM recommends the following tips:
- Wait to change your clocks until it is time to get ready for bed.
- Go to bed at your usual bedtime.
- Just before getting into bed, set your clocks back one hour.
- Wake up at your regular wake time, which will allow you one more hour of sleep.
- Take note of how much better you feel after an extra hour of sleep.
For more information on daylight saving time and the importance of healthy sleep, visit www.sleepeducation.org.
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