Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, which means everyone gets an extra hour to do as they please. But what they shouldn't do with that hour is sleep, says Dr. Alon Avidan, director of UCLA's Sleep Disorder Center. Sleeping in for an extra hour can "wreak havoc on our circadian rhythms," he tellsThe L.A. Times, instead advising the following tips:
- Though it may be too late for this weekend, Avidan says to ease into the time change— go to bed and wake up 15-30 minutes later in the days preceding, and move mealtimes later so they’ll be in sync come Monday.
- Later to bed and later to risealso means more light exposure when people wake up, which — along with social cues, like a later dinner — “can have a positive effect on their circadian patterns,” Avidan said.
- Avoid caffeine at least six hours before going to bed, detach from computer, TV and phone screens, and lay off alcohol, which, instead of knocking you out, can act as a stimulant and make sleep less restful.
- Reset all your clocks.True, our phones and other smart devices will update to standard time automatically, but search your house to make sure you haven’t overlooked any more-primitive timepieces — the analog clock hanging on the wall or the digital ones on the stove or coffeemaker. And double-check — that device you think is dumb may have reset itself and outsmarted you into setting it two hours back. Also, don’t forget the car’s dashboard clock; one wrong display can throw off your entire schedule. Thankfully, most people no longer have to contend with blinking VCRs.