Experts say Daylight Saving Time Impacts More than Just Sleep

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This Sunday we’ll spring forward and advance our clocks by an hour for a harbinger of the longer summer days to come — Daylight Saving Time.

“More daylight, more sun!,” says Julie Berry who looks forward to making the shift.

But experts say that extra hour of daylight often comes at a price: one precious hour of sleep.

Dr. Brandy Roane, Associate Professor at UNT Health Science Center says your body could feel the impact of losing just 60 minutes of sleep, for a few days.

“I’ve worked with patients who have had residual effects that have lasted months,” she explains.

Dr. Roane likens the one hour deficit to social jet lag. It’s like traveling to a different time zone sans airplane.

That one fewer hour of sleep can be a major disruption to your body’s internal clock.

“That’s just harder. We’re asking [the body] to go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier,” she explains.

This Monday may be extra tough for you and those around you. You may be more irritable, and experience daytime fatigue and sleepiness.

Studies have also shown an increase in the number of fatal accidents on the Monday after we spring forward.

“Your reaction times are slower. Your processing speeds and your ability to take in information is going to be greatly reduced,” says Dr. Roane.

She recommends starting the transition early by adjusting your sleep and wake time by 15 minutes every day until Monday morning.

“Tonight, shift bedtime 15 minutes earlier. Wake time gets shifted 15 minutes earlier too. The next night, another 15 minutes, and wake time by 15 minutes.”

It means no sleeping in this weekend, but Dr. Roane says its a sacrifice your body will thank you for come Monday morning.