You gain an hour on Sunday. What you may actually lose.
It is generally easier to adjust to gaining an hour of sleep in the fall than it is to lose an hour in the spring. This according to Dr. Fulvia Milite, the Director of the Sleep Center at White Plains Hospital. However, although we live with the impression that we are winning back the hour of sleep that we lost in the spring, this is not actually true. Very few people are able to fully enjoy that extra hour of sleep in the fall. For at least a day or two after the time change, many may find themselves waking up an hour or so before the alarm goes off.
Any disruption of sleep patterns can have an impact on our restfulness and attentiveness. This can affect our work and our driving. And, while Dr. Milite says that it usually takes one day to adjust to every hour of time change, there are some other factors that can complicate things.
If you wake to an alarm on a device that does not automatically reset its time at 2:00 on Sunday morning, there’s always the possibility that your alarm will go off an hour early. And there goes the extra hour of rest. Or, if you have young children with their own nap schedules and bedtimes, forget it.
So, what can you do? Dr. Milite suggests, “Regular exercise, preferably at the same time each day, may help get your sleep cycle back on track. Going to bed and getting up on a schedule can help. And giving in to a brief afternoon nap or two during the week may be a pleasant and relaxing way to restore lost sleep.” Just don’t let your boss catch you.