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Monday moaning: Beware of the dark side of daylight saving

Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 10:49 am

While you might be looking forward to being blessed with an extra hour of sunlight, losing an hour of sleep is no joke.

Daylight saving time 2018 seriously messes with your sleep, but experts have some hacks for ensuring you get up on the right side of the bed. First, let’s establish that there’s no getting around the fact that you’re going to feel like a zombie for a few days.

However, Colin Espie, co-founder of digital health company Big Health and Professor of Sleep Medicine at Oxford University, says your body will adjust in a few days.

If you think that losing an hour of sleep is no biggie, think again. “In general, ‘losing’ an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than ‘gaining’ an hour in the fall,” WedMD noted. While getting that extra hour of sunlight is pretty boss, this gift doesn’t come without a price. What’s more, WebMD cautioned that people who regularly get six or less hours of sleep a night will have a tougher time than those who get eight or nine hours. “In this situation, you may well experience the decrements of performance, concentration, and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness.”
Ugh. So, what’s a sleepy head to do? Seriously, you might want to proactively book a half hour at a nap club for the day after spring forward. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for getting through spring forward unscathed, but there are a few things you can do to make it a little less awful. “Get up at the same time after the clocks spring forward,” Espie tells Bustle. “Maintaining a routine is key, even if you feel a bit more tired for the first few days following the time change.”
“Researchers have found it can be dangerous to mess with sleep schedules. Car accidents, strokes, and heart attacks spike in the days after the March time change,” Ben Steverman wrote for the Globe. “It turns out that judges, sleep deprived by daylight saving, impose harsher sentences.” In fact, this is one of the reasons that spring forward and fall back don’t happen during the week, Mohammad M. Amin, MBBCH at the Stony Brook Medicine Sleep Disorders Center told Reader’s Digest.