DETROIT (WWJ) – It is that time of year again when we “spring forward” and set our clocks one hour ahead.
Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, although many people opt to change their clocks before they go to sleep Saturday night.
We know it’s coming every year, but that doesn’t make springing forward any easier. Studies have indicated that losing that extra hour of sleep can raise the risk of everything from heart attacks to car accidents.
“There are more chances of errors the next day,” Dr. Harnet Walia, a sleep expert at the Cleveland Clinic, told WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites. But you can combat the sleepiness by “going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime and try to expose yourself to bright light in the morning.”
To help you get a good night’s sleep, Dr. Shaun Jayakar, a sleep expert with St. John Hospital in Detroit, says you could consider taking melatonin, an over the counter sleep aid. Once your sleep trouble subsides the melatonin can be discontinued.
Officials also recommend changing the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms when you set your clocks forward. If the detectors are more than 10 years old, officials say you should replace them.
Why do we even change our clocks? Daylight saving time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. The passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005 extended daylight saving time by four weeks — from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.
Daylight saving time will end Nov. 4, when we’ll set our clocks back one hour.