Nancy Foldvary, MD and sleep specialist for Cleveland Clinic weighed in on the matter, saying, “Daylight Saving Time, where we’re shifting just one hour forward or one hour behind, affects our circadian rhythm. So the inside clock, the clock inside our brain that regulates sleep and wakefulness, is typically a very reliable, periodic process and having just a one-hour shift can actually affect us pretty significantly.”
Along with a wacky sleep schedule, Daylight Savings brings dangers as well. Research has shown that the hour shift has been linked to an increase in car accidents, strokes, and heart attacks.
To stay safe and healthy this weekend, Dr. Foldvary recommends planning ahead to make sure you are consistently getting enough sleep. The CDC recommends at least seven hours a night.
Additionally, Foldvary advises Americans to avoid eating a large meal and drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed.
Lastly, she urges us to prioritize our sleep hygiene during this time.
“Each of us has our own vulnerability to sleep loss and circadian rhythm changes. Some of us adapt well to difficult situations, like night calls or shift work that require frequent or rapid adjustments in sleep times, while others struggle,” said Foldvary. “Most of us know how much sleep we need each night to feel well-rested and function optimally. Sleep requirements differ for every individual and are genetically determined.”