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Soon, people in the Greater Dayton area will “spring forward” by turning their clocks ahead one hour.
Doctors with Kettering Health Sleep Centers say Daylight Saving Time poses some specific problems for sleep.
“If we change the clock on our wall correctly and keep our same sleep times, we lose an hour of sleep,” explains Kevin Carter, DO, medical director of the Sleep Center at Kettering Medical Center. “But for many of us the time change means sleeping an hour later on Sunday morning and putting off the change to Sunday night. If we still go to bed and get up at our typical clock times on Sunday, our body sees this as going to bed an hour earlier and getting up an hour earlier.”
Dr. Carter says that by going to bed an hour earlier, we may not feel sleepy or be able to fall asleep until our body is ready an hour later. “This means that we will start Monday with an hour of sleep deprivation from the prior night and will also still be sleepy because we are getting up an hour earlier than our body is used to,” he says.
Another factor that can disrupt the body’s clock is sunrise and sunset. The sun has been rising around 7:00 a.m. prior to the time change, but after the time change, the sun will rise around 8:00 a.m. “As a result, people may once again be driving to work or school in the dark again or into the rising sun,” explains Dr. Carter. “We could see an increase in auto accidents, the risk of cardiovascular distress, bad moods, and other problems on Monday morning.”
Dr. Carter says our bodies should adjust to the new time in a few days.