Clock change and its impact on sleep

A place for Sleepio members to discuss the impacts of changing the clocks twice a year.

Do feel free to also check out Sleepio's blogs on this topic available below:
Spring Clock Change
How will Daylight Saving Time affect your sleep?
Three ways to cope with clock change
The bright side of the end of summer: clock change advice

Posted 4 Apr 2015 at 10:11 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    20 years ago I successfully did CBT for insomnia, thus I know about good sleep hygiene, sleep restriction, and calculating sleep efficiency. So when insomnia surfaced last Fall I put myself on SR, and after 6 weeks was at 100% efficiency and was sleeping a solid, deep 6 hours. Then we changed the clocks! Now, for the past 4 weeks, my sleep has been completely erratic – from 0 to 5 hrs, averaging 3.5, and no patterns developing. Since I had done this before and knew it works, initially I had no fears or questions about it succeeding, but this past month's lack of progress has me a little apprehensive.

    The only change from my earlier CBT has been the use of a light box for 45-60 minutes when I awaken in the morning.

    Has anyone had something similar happen and if so, what worked for you?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi, I'm just posting on here to bring it up the list, as its that time of year! The blogs listed above are interesting, especially the final one which relates to now.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I'm struggling with this from the recent time change in the U.S. this past weekend. I have historically struggled with middle of the night wake ups and early morning wake ups. I was finally at a point where I would go to bed around 10 or 10:30 and wake up at about 5:30-6 am. Still earlier than I'd like to wake up but definitely acceptable. Now with the clock change, i'm trying to keep my bed time around 10 or 10:30, but now wake up at 4:30 on the dot each morning since. Its frustrating to me that an arbitrary time change is now making me get an hour less of sleep per night because of my internal clock. Any ideas on how to handle this?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi njlmeeks, this is the advice from the programme:

    Get up at the same time in the morning each day – which means enjoying an extra hour in bed this weekend. It may still take take a few days to adjust to the new schedule, but routine is key for creating a consistent drive to sleep each evening.

    In the winter, with fewer hours of daylight overall, it’s important to seek out exposure to morning light where you can. Light is a strong cue to alert the internal clock, and daylight ensures it remains synchronised to the 24-hour day. Lack of light exposure during the day can result in a drift of the internal body clock, making it harder to get up in the morning in the winter.

    Avoid bright lights for at least an hour before bed. Bright light inhibits the production of melatonin (a hormone involved in the timing and regulation of sleep) which can leave us feeling more alert. Minimise your use of electronic gadgets for at least an hour before you go to bed to give yourself time to wind down.

    In my experience, it does take a couple weeks sometimes to settle down. I sympathise with your frustration at those early morning wakings. I regularly wake up at about 5am, when I really don't need to, and after only about 5 or 6 hours' sleep. Yet still I get through the day ok, so I have come to the conclusion that my body only NEEDS 6 hours of sleep, but my wishful thinking is for a solid 8. I don't think I'll ever get that again, though, so I settle for what comes, and as long as I can get 4 hours unbroken sleep somewhere in the night, I'm fine.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi,

    I'm from New Zealand, and we are about to change the clocks for autumn. I'm just wondering if anyone knows how you're supposed to approach it while on sleep restriction? While another hour in bed sounds lovely, it seems counter intuitive to the programme. I'm just starting to manage to increase my sleep efficiency, so I want to give myself the the best shot of not disrupting that.

    I found a post about shifting the sleep window 15 mins earlier each night leading up to the spring clock change – would the opposite work (15 mins later each night) for the autumn one? The other ideas I thought of were to not reset my clocks until the next day, rather than at 2/3am, and then continue by the clock the next day (though this would mean I would be suddenly going to bed an hour later as far as my body/mind are concerned) or to completely shift my sleep window an hour later (from 1-7am to 2-8am) after the change. I really don't want to do that last one, as I'm struggling with disliking being up alone in the dark as it is!

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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