Daylight saving time: 5 tips for a smoother switch Sunday


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — It’s time for a change in America — a time change. Let’s sleep an extra hour to that.

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At 2 a.m. local time Sunday, daylight saving time is ending, and it’s back to standard time for most people in the United States.

The shift means it’s lighter earlier in the morning and darker earlier in the evening. And you’ll get 60 minutes more of shut-eye between Saturday night and Sunday wake-up.

TIME SWITCH IMPACT

However, the extra sleep time may not be beneficial for your body.

In a 17-year study involving more than 185,000 patients, researchers from Stanford University found depression rates rose by 11 percent when people set their clocks back in fall.

Depression rates declined after about 10 weeks; researchers said that’s because sunlight impacts the brain, and those studied were exposed to more sunlight at that point.

TRANSITIONING TIPS

The time change isn’t always smooth for children, but there are some ways to help.

Dr. John Schuen of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital suggests trying to keep your home well-lit in the morning and use dimmer lights or darkening shades in the evening.

“Our circadian rhythm, or internal sleep clock, actually changes with light, so light influences that,” said Schuen.

He also suggests keeping your child’s room at a normal temperature or slightly cooler to promote a better sleep, as well as running a fan or playing a soothing sounds CD overnight for a smoother time shift.

Schuen says it’s helpful to start transitioning children early.

“Our sleep clock only works forwards or backwards about a half an hour every day, and so it takes a few days for us to catch up from daylight saving time,” he explained.

WHO ISN’T AFFECTED

Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and most of Arizona don’t observe daylight saving time, so there’s no need to change the clocks in those places.

Daylight saving time will return at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 11.

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