Sleepline.com has spent thousands of hours researching and comparing products relating to sleep. We are serious about recommending the correct products for your individual needs. We take in more data points than just our own and encourage our users feedback. At times we are compensated for the links you click at no cost to you. Learn more on our disclosure page here.
It’s that time of year again: get ready to lose an hour of sleep on Sunday since the clocks will “spring forward”. On March 8, 2020 at 2 a.m. Americans in the vast majority of states that observe Daylight Saving Time will adjust their clocks forward one hour.
Resources mentioned in this article
- Eight Sleep Blue Wave Glasses – Blue-light-blocking glasses for viewing TVs, computers, and cell phones at nighttime
- Why We Sleep – Book by Dr. Matthew Walker
- Garmin Vivosmart – Wearable sleep and fitness tracker
- Sleepline Audio: Better Sleep Starts Tonight – Audio tracks created by Sleepline that are designed to help you fall asleep faster
Do I need to set my clock forward or backwards one hour?
At 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8 you will need to set your clock forward one hour. At 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1 you will set your clock back one hour. A simple way to remember this is keep in mind the saying “spring forward, fall back”. When you adjust your clocks in the spring you always move your hour hand one hour forward, while you do the opposite in the fall.
Which states don’t participate in Daylight Saving Time?
The following US states and territories do not observe DST:
- Most of Arizona
- Puerto Rico
- American Samoa
- U.S. Virgin Islands
If you live in one of the above areas you won’t need to do anything and you can continue living your life as normal (lucky you!).
Why Daylight Saving Time exists
Daylight Saving Time (also incorrectly referred to as Daylight Savings Time) was invented in 1918 during World War I a way of conserving fuel needed for war industries and of extending the working day,” according to the Library of Congress. It was repealed after the war concluded.
When World War II broke out the issue reemerged and Congress established it yet again in 1942.
There have been multiple attempts to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, most recently last year when Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott introduced the Sunshine Protection Act. Unfortunately there has been no progress on passing this law, which has been languishing in Congress ever since it was introduced.
“It makes absolutely no sense, there’s no justification for it. It has strong support in the House and in the Senate, the White House, the president said he would sign it. I hope we can get this bill passed because I just think it makes all the sense in the world, and this changing of the clocks back and forth makes no sense at all.”Senator Marco Rubio
Is Daylight Saving Time bad for your health?
Research indicates that moving the clocks backward in the fall leads to an increase in seasonal depression due to the lack of evening sunshine.
The negative health effects are much worse when clocks move forward in the spring. Moving the clocks forward results in the following undesirable health outcomes:
- Car accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sleep deprivation
- Increased blood pressure
“Our circadian clock gets dysregulated. Some people are more sensitive than others based on genetics, age — younger people usually adapt better – [and] morning versus evening types,” said Dr. Beth Malow of Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville.
How to recover from losing an hour of sleep
Americans are already struggling to get enough sleep, and the situation is getting worse. Losing an extra hour of sleep can be devastating and is extremely hard to recover from. We recommend following these steps to help cope with moving your clocks forward:
- Exercise. Research shows that working out helps promote healthy sleep habits. Any type of physical activity helps, as long as it occurs at least two hours prior to sleeping. If you exercise too close to your bedtime, you may find that it makes it harder for you to fall asleep on time. We recommend using a fitness tracker like the Garmin Vivosmart to keep track of your physical exercise and learn how it affects your sleep.
- Stop consuming caffeine in the afternoon. Caffeine takes 12 hours to fully leave your body. This means that the cup of coffee you consume at noon can still be disrupting your sleep at midnight. Remember that caffeine is hidden in many common items that you consume without realizing it: coffee, tea, soda, over-the-counter medicines, chocolate, and more.
- Stop using your phone right before bed. In our smartphone-addicted society, bedtime phone use it disturbingly common. It’s also one of the leading reasons why America is in the middle of what Matthew Walker (author of Why We Sleep) calls a sleeplessness epidemic. The blue light from your phone screen mimics the sun and can prevent you from falling asleep. While some people dispute whether it’s the blue light specifically that is keeping us up or if it’s light in general, but you can’t go wrong with buying a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses (we strongly recommend the Eight Sleep Blue Wave glasses).
- Take a nap. If you’re still feeling sleepy when you wake up after moving your clocks forward, a short nap can help rejuvenate you. Short naps – no longer than 30 minutes – can help provided that you take them earlier in the day. If you nap during the evening you’ll notice that it’s much harder to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Listen to soothing sounds before sleep. Listening to relaxing sounds, like rain or white noise (we created our own official Sleepline audio tracks you can listen to here), can help stop your mind from racing so you can drift off to sleep easier.
- Don’t hit the snooze button. It may be tempting to press snooze and get a few extra minutes of sleep, but you’re not actually doing anything to reduce the negative effects of sleep deprivation. It’s important to let your body adjust to its new wake-up time and hitting snooze just delays the inevitable.