DETROIT (WWJ) – The time change is a coming. It is that time of year when we need to spring forward and set our clocks for one hour earlier.
Daylight Saving Time officially occurs at 2 am Sunday morning, although many opt to change their clocks before they go to sleep Saturday night.
“I set the time before bed. It’s just easier. I can wake up in the morning and not have to worry about what the right time is,” a Flat Rock resident said.
Dr. Meeta Singh, Sleep Medicine Specialist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, spoke live on WWJ to explain what really happens to our bodies during this time.
“So the first thing that happens is that you’re not going to get enough sleep. What happens is that most of us are, anyways, sleep deprived and waking up an hour earlier will intensify this sleep deprivation.”
Singh explained that in 2008 there was an Australian study that showed there was an increase in suicide in males shortly after the time change.
“It’s probably because in the early morning, the suggestion is that there’s less morning sunlight so there’s an increase in depression. There are studies out there that there are increases in car accidents, increases in work place accidents. There are even studies out there that there’s an increased correlation with higher heart attacks on the Monday after time change.”
So, we are losing an hour and missing out on some valuable sleep. Singh gave us some suggestions on how to get prepared for the time shift.
“The best thing to probably do would be to start going to bed about 15 minutes earlier at least five days ahead (of the time change). And then maybe take a nap on Sunday in the afternoon and then try to go to bed earlier for the next four or five days,” she said.
She also explained the importance of exposing yourself to the morning sunshine to help subdue the effects of sleep loss.
“On Monday morning, you want to expose yourself to nice, bright light at that time. It’s actually helpful. And then you want to avoid that extra bright light in the evening that you’re going to get because the clock moved.”
But, if you are thinking about grabbing an energy drink on Sunday morning to give you an extra boost, it may not be such a good idea.
“I would prefer to advise against those energy drinks. Drink your morning cup of coffee, not those energy drinks.”