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For much of the U.S. and many places around the world, daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 13. That's when clocks are turned forward one hour.
Sleep provides the foundation for all your daily habits and decisions. Getting enough quality rest each night is essential for optimal health. Regularly sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and depression. Lack of sleep also can affect your immune system and heart health.
But a time shift ― even by one hour ― can take a toll on your sleep. Similar to the effects of jet lag, setting your clock ahead an hour for daylight saving time can disturb your system because your internal clock keeps on ticking, regardless of time zone or daylight saving time. This internal clock, or circadian rhythm, is influenced by exposure to sunlight, among other factors.
Whether due to daylight saving time adjustments or traveling across time zones, here are four things you can do to prepare for sleep changes:
Connect with others and share your tips for better sleep in the Sleep Health support group on Mayo Clinic Connect, an online patient community moderated by Mayo Clinic.
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