Sleep Health

Spring forward the right way this Daylight Savings

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This Sunday, 2am will not exist. Instead, clocks will jump from 1:59.59 am to 3:00.00 am when most of us are asleep and none the wiser. Although Daylight Savings happens annually, it will still come as a surprise for many of us. The hour of the day that’s lost is stolen from the time our bodies most need to recover.

The idea behind Daylight Savings is to lend an hour of daylight from the early morning to the evening, so we have more daytime hours to do fun and productive things. This, according to our sleep health expert, Dr Carmel Harrington, can help you sleep better than if there were no Daylight Savings.

“People normally groan at the thought of the clocks going forward and losing an hour of sleep, but you also gain an hour of daylight…You’ll feel more energised; it will help reduce anxiety and aid sleep,” she says.

Despite this well-meaning intention, Daylight Savings can lead to other effects besides just having to reset our clocks. For most of us, getting out of bed will be harder for the first couple of days. If, however, you’re already not sleeping well, Daylight Savings can force you into further sleep debt. It is also likely to throw your sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm further out of whack, making you feel more tired and less alert than you already are.

You’ll feel more energised; it will help reduce anxiety and aid sleep

Instead of dreading Daylight Savings, Harrington suggests people who are struggling with sleep to use this weekend as a wake-up call. 

“Establishing a sleep routine is vital, and the clock changing is a great time to take stock and prioritise your sleep,” she says.

We can’t agree more. With Covid and lockdown disrupting so many lives this year, we ought to take some time out to reset our wellness goals – with healthy sleep at the forefront of them given how much we seem to be missing out on it.

In fact, according to our latest sleep health survey, a third of Australians now rate their sleep as poor or very poor.1 Even though a third of us are sleeping more in lockdown, a quarter of us feel our sleep quality has worsened because of it.1 Between lockdown and the extra stressors this year, we don’t blame you.

“Motivation has decreased and tiredness has increased, even though we are spending more time in bed,” Harrington explains.

There will no doubt be some tired and confused people waking up this Sunday. Don’t be one of them. If your sleep has been stuck in a rut recently, use Daylight Savings this year to assess if you have any larger issues to deal with, and then do something about it. For example, since you have more daylight in the evening now, maybe you could go for a jog in the park or at the gym at end of the day. 

Yes, it is lame that you lose an hour this weekend, but use it as fuel to motivate you to take care of yourself. Your attitude and your mindset is everything. With all that said, do yourself and go to bed early tonight. Tomorrow, you can start thinking about how to reset and renew yourself this spring. If you need some practical sleep tips, then check out our sleep blog page for some great ideas. 

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ResMed

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Citations

1

The ResMed Sleep Survey, 2021.

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