How to help your body adjust after Daylight Saving Time ends

Posted at 3:26 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 14:02:59-05

Who doesn’t love the extra hour of morning sleep we get when Daylight Saving Time ends? But for some people it can take up to a few days to adjust and that extra hour can end up disrupting your sleep.

It can really affect those who are older as once we hit our 40s and 50s, it can become more difficult to adjust our circadian clock.  

With it getting darker earlier, sleepiness can be triggered sooner than you’d like as the lack of light can affect your alertness.  

You may feel more sluggish and drift off to sleep earlier than planned. And that could lead to disrupted sleep schedules. 

Partha’s RX:

1. When you get home from work and it’s already dark, try brightening up your home using artificial light. That can help you feel more alert and less likely to nap too close to bedtime.
2. If you need a nap, take it mid-afternoon and not any later or you can mess up your night’s sleep.  And don’t nap for longer than 20 minutes. 

3. While adjusting to the earlier darkness, don’t turn to caffeinated drinks too late in the evening. Or you may end up staying up much later than planned and get less than the ideal 7-9 hours of sleep.

4. Avoid alcohol 4 to 6 hours before sleep-time. It can trigger nightmares and cause breathing problems. 

Absolutely. Any physical activity can help you deal with sluggishness, moodiness and fatigue. Try getting outside and walk, hike or bike during daylight hours.  

If you can’t get out in daylight hours, walk inside a brightly lit mall, go grocery shopping or take an evening fitness class at your local community center. Increased blood flow to the brain and body muscles can boost energy levels and help you deal more positivity with the blah feeling we often encounter during the fall and winter months.