With the time change comes brighter mornings and darker evenings. And that change in light can make all the difference to your sleep schedule.
“Light is the most important circadian rhythm setter that we have,” Dr. Allen Salem, sleep specialist, said. “Without light, we wouldn’t know day from night. So when we change the times by falling back at this time of year, our response is to try to go to bed at the same time, but then you’re gonna wake up even earlier.”
Dr. Salem says going to bed slightly later is one way to get your sleep schedule adjusted to the time change.
“I would also recommend a little bit of, not necessarily bright light, but light within the house shortly before bed, maybe one to two hours before bed, which will delay their sleep time just a little bit,” Dr. Salem said.
While some worry about the effects the change has on their sleep, Dr. Salem says it’s not a long term effect.
“It’s not to worry except for the first few days when we’re getting up in the dark and it’s dark really early,” Dr. Salem said. “The tendency is to wanna go to bed and there’s no light. So, with no light, your brain says it’s bed time, but at this point there’s very little effect.”
Dr. Salem also recommends that children under 12 get 10-12 hours of sleep, 12 to 18-year-olds get 8-10 hours of sleep and adults get seven hours of sleep.