Health Advocate Blog

Tips to help you “fall back” this weekend

After the clock strikes twelve this Saturday night, signaling the end of Halloween, something else is lurking in the wee hours of the morning… Daylight Savings Time! But while the new light-dark cycle may take a little time to adjust to, Daylight Savings Time isn’t as scary as you might think. Check out these tips to help you adjust to “falling back” this Sunday, November 1!

Plan ahead

If you know you’re strongly affected by changes in the light-dark cycle, you may want to plan ahead. If you get up 10-15 minutes earlier each morning the week leading up to Daylight Savings Time’s time change taking place, this may help to ease the transition.

Avoid staying up too late the night before

Some people stay up late the night before Daylight Savings Time’s time change takes place, thinking it’s okay because they’ll gain an extra hour of sleep. But when you “fall back,” your circadian rhythms actually cause you to want to go to bed and wake up earlier than your environment may indicate. So don’t extend your Halloween revelry too far into the night—try to go to bed at your normal bedtime, or even a little earlier, in case your circadian rhythm wakes you up early the next day.

Don’t squander that extra hour!

“Falling back” means we actually gain an hour (as opposed to the time change that happens in the spring, when we lose an hour). But while many people use that extra hour to catch some extra ZZZ’s, that may not be the best plan. Snoozing for an extra hour may make it tougher for you to fall asleep Sunday night and could even leave you feeling a little “off” at the start of the week. Instead, plan to get out of bed at your usual time and use the extra hour to do something fun! Try cooking a healthy breakfast like oatmeal or a frittata with veggies, going for a walk, raking the leaves, tackling some chores in your home, or spending some quality time with a friend or loved one.

If you really need that extra hour of sleep…

Do you really want your “fall back” to include an extra hour of sleep? Then take advantage on Sunday night, not Sunday morning. Getting more sleep at night can help you feel more well-rested the next day.

Know that you’ll adjust (even if it takes time)

When there’s a new light-dark cycle happening, it may take a few days for you to adjust. But rest assured, you will. The amount Daylight Savings Time’s time change disrupts people varies from person to person. If it happens to affect you rather strongly, have faith that you will adjust to it, even if it takes a little while.

Don’t forget…

Once the time change happens, don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour! Many devices like your smartphone and cable box will automatically change the time, but you’ll need to remember to adjust alarm clocks and the clocks on your oven and microwave.

For Health Advocate Members

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the coaching feature of our Wellness Program, call your coach for more sleep-related tips.