• By Deborah Balzer

Avoid Daylight Saving Time Fall Back Blues

October 29, 2015

retro alarm clock on table with books

Daylight Saving Time officially ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1, and for most Americans that means an extra hour of sleep. Our internal clock may also wind down as we fall back one hour so make sure to give yourself time to adjust.

Mayo Clinic sleep medicine specialist Dr. Suresh Kotagal says, "In general, this weekend will be great to catch up with friends and family on Saturday night, knowing fully well that you will have the luxury of getting an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. So, enjoy it. On Monday morning, when you wake up, however, it will be darker than usual, so it may take a few days getting used to the morning dim light." He adds, "The best approach is to expose yourself to lots of light and physical activity such as exercise upon awakening. A warm shower might also help overcome the inertia one may experience upon awakening as winter sets in."

The time change along with the change in season can be extra difficult for some. If the shorter and darker days affect your mood, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Mayo Clinic experts say regular exercise, light therapy, and making your environment brighter by opening blinds and sitting closer to windows may help. If these don't work, talk with your health care provider to see if other treatment options are right for you.

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