Get Ready for the Fall DST this Weekend
This weekend America goes back to the Standard Time, falling back an hour. The Daylight Saving Time (DST) signals lighter mornings with an extra hour to spend in your bed. But at what time exactly do we have to reset our time?
DST will end at 2:00 AM this coming November 1. The mornings will be lighter, and the evenings get darker. Those that live in a state that participates in DST will be getting an extra hour in bed. DST is the act of resetting the time one hour advance during spring time, and one hour late during the fall. It is practiced by many states excluding American Samoa, Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Island, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. Currently, Utah is considering in ending its participation in the DST.
Daylight Saving Time is observed by most states because it helps conserve energy; thereby saving on costs. However, newer studies challenge this reason.
Generally speaking, the use and demand for electricity to light our homes is largely associated with the time we go to sleep and the time we wake up. The average bedtime for most people here in the US is late in the evening throughout the year. Thus, during bedtime, we turn off the lights and the TV.
In an average home, about 25% of the electricity is used for appliances and lighting. Majority of them are consumed during the evening when most, if not all, the members of the family are home. By moving the clock ahead or late by one hour, we will be able to reduce the amount of electricity we use every day.
Dr. Ilene Rosen, one of the board of directors for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), said, “Ideally we would be able to allow our internal circadian rhythms to move along naturally with the light-dark cycles that change from season to season.” Unfortunately, that only exists in a perfect world. DST affects our bodies more than we know; so here are some tips on how you should transition back to standard time without disrupting your sleep-wake cycles.
“Your circadian rhythms will cause you to want to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than your external environment. One of the biggest mistakes that people make… is staying up later and thinking that they’re going to get an extra hour sleep,” Dr. Rosen said. Since your circadian rhythm is bound to wake you early, it is important not to depend on the extra hour of sleeping time.
Utilize the Sun
The Fall DST is easier than the spring especially for those who work during the standard time since they’d be able to hack the sunlight exposure. Before switching the clocks back in time, try to get some sun exposure late in the afternoon. Then try to get as much sunlight exposure in the morning after switching your clocks to make the transition easier.
Take your Time
According to Dr. Rosen, it would help those who work in a non-traditional schedule to sleep and wake-up at least 10 to 15 minutes later every day before transitioning back to the standard time. As usual, adding an extra time for nap would help fight the drowsiness for everyone who struggles during DST.