WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — It’s time to turn your clocks back this weekend. Daylight saving time is out, standard time is in. Standard time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday and lasts until March 12.
The time change means darkness will arrive earlier in the evening, but it will be lighter earlier in the morning than now. That can be a big adjustment for a lot of people, according to Dr. Richard Hoffman of the Sleeps Centers of Northern Virginia.
“The problem with shifting time schedules, particularly a one-hour shift backwards, is our bodies are designed to easily shift forward, but have great difficulty shifting backwards,” he said.
Hoffman said that forcing yourself to stay up and then going to sleep at your “goal sleep time” will help your body get back on schedule faster than other options out there.
“Use of light adjustment, trying to keep the lights low near bedtime or a bright light early in the morning, even if it’s still dark out, will [also] get you adjusted quicker,” he said.
Hoffman said the change can affect people differently. Some people bounce right back, others take time.
“So typically, if we’re moving the clock forward, it is very quick. [It] can take within one day. You can get back by just staying up a little later,” Hoffman said. “When you turn it backwards, it usually can take up to five days to get back on a regular schedule.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics said the fall time change can cause younger children to crash before bedtime and wake up earlier than usual in the morning.
“It’s made worse by the fact that as we enter our teenage years, we’re actually on a normal shifted or circadian shifted sleep schedule called delays. The normal teenager will want to stay up late and sleep in late if they were allowed to,” Hoffman said.