• By Deb Balzer

Avoid the daylight saving time fall-back blues

November 3, 2016

Autumn time change with an alarm clock and Autumn leaves with a pumpkin
Daylight saving time
 ends on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 a.m., when clocks are turned backward one hour to local standard time. For most Americans, that means an extra hour of sleep. Your internal clock also may wind down as you fall back one hour so make sure that you 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 to get 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. 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 tips don't work, talk with your health care provider to see if other treatment options are right for you.