Be Ready for Daylight-Saving Time!
Daylight-Saving Time will soon be upon us. With a little preparation, you can be ready. The transition to Daylight-Saving Time pushes sunrise and sunset an hour later on March 11. Your body's internal clock, however, has no way of knowing about the onset of Daylight-Saving Time.
To prepare yourself, consider advancing bed and wake times by about 15 minutes for 4 nights through March 11. For example, if you normally go to bed at 10 PM, go to bed at 9:45 PM on Wednesday the 7th, then at 9:30 PM on the 8th, 9:15 PM on the 9th and then finally at 9:00 PM on the 10th.
If you typically awake at 6:00 AM , awaken instead at 5:45 AM on the 8th, 5:30 AM on the 9th, and then at 5:15 AM on the 10th. You'll be aiming to go to bed at 9 PM on the 10th, but you will awaken at 6 AM on the 11th. Such a schedule keeps your sleep opportunity constant. If you are a natural night owl, you may need to maximize morning light and minimize evening light to help move your sleep times earlier.
Several authors have attempted to link clock changes to car accident and medical emergencies. The data thus far are mixed. However, teenagers are particularly susceptible to the March leap forward because of their natural night owl tendencies--when the sun goes down later, their internal clocks end up being reset later. Therefore, maintenance of a regular sleep schedule and the other principles of good sleep are particularly valuable for young folks and, following the March leap forward, natural night owls.
Note that Arizona and Hawaii do not observe Daylight-Saving Time. Though the technique will help you advance your clock for Daylight-Saving, it is also the same technique you can use to advance your bedtime if you need to get more sleep. If you are not being rested by the amount of sleep you are currently getting but have a hard time going to bed earlier, try the steps outlined above. You can shift your bedtime and get more sleep, which will leave you feeling rested and allow you to be more productive during the day.