As the seasons and weather change, so do the clocks!
Daylight saving time ends on November 1 at 2 a.m.
Setting the clocks back one hour not only gives us extra light during the winter months but it also gives us an extra hour on that first day.
"That extra light in the morning is a benefit and one of the main reasons why we have daylight saving time in the fall," Eleanor McGlinchey, a professor of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, per TODAY.
While the time change is much easier on our systems than setting the clocks forward in March when we lose an hour of sleep, it may still mess with our sleep schedules.
However, experts at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine believe the shift disrupts our sleep schedules and harms our health. The AASM even called for the cancellation of daylight saving time altogether as it reportedly leads to poor cardiovascular health, stroke and atrial fibrillation, mental health, and even traffic accidents.
Since it hasn't been officially canceled, a few experts have weighed in and revealed that shifting your bedtime could ensure that you adjust with minimal side effects.
A four-day plan requires you to shift the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up in increments of 15 minutes each day. You start four days before November 1.
If you go to sleep at 11 p.m., you’ll start by going at 11:15 p.m instead and waking up at 7:15 a.m, instead of 7 a.m.
On the second day, you’ll add 15 minutes so you're bedtime will be 11:30 p.m. and your wake up time will be 7:30 a.m.
By October 31, you go to bed at midnight and since the change occurs overnight, you’ll wake up at your normal 7 a.m. schedule without having to sacrifice your eight hours of sleep.
Instead of starting four days prior, you’ll start a two-day plan. If you go to bed at 11 p.m, you should go to bed at 11:30 p.m instead. Bancroft said this “gives your body an extra half hour of sleep.”
The Night Before
If you don’t want to start adjusting your schedule so far in advance, you can simply opt for a change the night before. Warning: this plan is best for early risers and requires you to go to bed at 11 p.m. (or whatever your normal bedtime is) on October 31 and wake up one hour earlier. In this case, if you wake up at 7 a.m., you’d wake up at 6 a.m. instead.
"For many, you may find that you're naturally waking up earlier the morning after the time change for fall because of the light," Bancroft said. "If you find yourself naturally waking up, get out of bed for the day. This will help your sleep drive shift to become 'hungrier' for sleep earlier that evening."
Adjustments After the Time Change Matter
McGlinchey said it’s important to keep a routine after the time change.
"Eating too early or eating too late can have an impact on your circadian rhythms," she said. "...Try keep technology out of your bed, make sure you're not just hanging out in bed, because that can mess up your sleep and wake schedules."
If you naturally wake up earlier, adjust your sleep schedule accordingly and remain consistent.