Every year, people discuss whether or not daylight saving time should remain in existence. Yet every year, we have to deal with it — and it’s likely not going away anytime soon. Your best bet is to go into the day the clocks change well-prepared and knowledgeable. Especially if you have kids or lead a busy life, the last thing you want is to be thrown off by something so simple as the time changing by a mere hour.
The reason daylight saving time is so tough is due to our internal biological clocks, or circadian rhythms. Our internal sleep regulators use sunlight and other natural indicators to tell us when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep. Bright light and sunlight trigger a brain response that keeps us awake — while lack of sunlight triggers melatonin, a chemical that lulls us to sleep.
When the clocks change, the sun’s pattern of rising and setting stays the same. Your internal cues are still keeping you to the old time, while the rest of the world operates one hour backwards. Often, people find losing an hour to be more difficult than gaining. In the fall, we gain an hour overnight — but don’t interpret it as simply an extra hour of sleep. You might experience some tiredness early the following evening or get jolted awake before your alarm. We know it’s not always so easy, so here’s your survival guide to make it through the end of daylight saving time as painlessly as possible.