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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    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.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi wanting some advice for when the clocks go back – know its a month away but always struggle and it throws my sleep out badly usually so as I am just hitting week 3 and getting used to the new systems want some advice to prepare myself!! I also really struggle on holidays with different time zones so again any advice as to how others deal with this would be appreciated as I usually ( or in the past) just don't sleep
    thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Talli, have you explored the Library articles here on this topic? There are references to four of them at the top of this page. I had the same question as you with the time change in the spring of this year. As I recall, I attempted to adjust my sleep window by 15 minutes every three days or so, but I don't think it out worked out very well with my daily/weekly routine so I didn't follow through with making the gradual change. It is an approach, though, if you can do it. The post from MarieElaine above gives some tips also. In the end, these bi-annual time changes are a bit of a nuisance, but we eventually readjust.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    The general advice is the same as for jetlag, which is to try to adhere to the new timings immediately. It will probably mean a few nights of disrupted sleep pattern but doing it that way is supposed to train the body quicker to the new routine.
    Good Luck as I think the true answer is that there isn't an easy answer and we must be prepared for a few poor nights until the body gets the message.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    thanks for the advice have looked at the library now so know where to look. At least im prepared and will hopefully be in a good place by the time it comes around! At least i dont feel alone now with the problem – somehow that helps!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    When we change the clocks we leave it till Sunday morning, I don't work now so it is easy for me. In the morning hubby changes the clocks and by evening I just go to bed when the clock says my bedtime. I didn't like the clock change when I first joined sleepio, but I have noticed as time has gone by that if the clock says it's my bedtime, then psychologically I am OK and hence I sleep.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I know that the Spring clock change is fast approaching and each year I wonder how badly it will affect my sleep pattern.
    I usually have several days of poor sleep afterwards, Will the Sleepio program help me?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
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    Graduate

    After session 6 with the Prof, will I have to stay on the scheduled sleep times or do I gradually increase to when you get 8-9 hours sleep, please?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I have followed the sleepio programme and had increased my sleep efficiency to nearly 90%. However since the clocks went BACK this Sunday my sleep schedule has been thrown completely out of syn. as I wake up very early – at least an hour before my schedule. I trust that after a week this will ease.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Clocks in UK Spring forward tonight so we LOSE an hour of sleep.
    Is it ok to go to bed earlier to retain the consistent anout if time in bed/asleep?
    Or better to go to bed late (as sleep sched mandates) and get up at reg time an hour earlier BST.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I posted a not very helpful reply on your profile, JoFox. Good luck with the clock change issue :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 121 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I started changing my clock by 15 minutes two weeks ago. So this morning I remain 15 min behind and will catch up with everyone else next weekend. Not too late do this if you want to have a graduated change.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
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    Graduate

    To all U.K. Sleepios for the coming end of BST now in October:

    What you can do is on Saturday night, go to bed a the same time as normal, (don’t change your clocks until the next morning.)
    Set your alarm for your ‘normal’ rise time and get up at that same time.
    Then change your clocks around the house.

    N.B. If you have a smart phone or watch – it will automatically change in the night for the end of BST – so don’t look at it until the next morning or you’ll muddle your brain up!

    On Sunday evening, go to bed at the same time again (because of the clocks changing in the U.K. this will have fallen back an hour).

    You may struggle to cope with this but it might be better than when we ‘lost’ the hour in spring this year – that messed a few Sleepio’s sleep up, for a few weeks.

    If we ‘give ourselves’ that extra hour in bed – and we are not asleep, it will be the same as undoing the good sleep practises we’ve built up already. You don’t want to lose your bed-sleep connection. Sleeping in at weekends can often mess our sleep up the following night – making us feel jet lagged.

    I hadn’t started Sleepio or Sleep Restriction when this happened last autumn so I might be wrong – am just going by what I think is best. Other Sleepios might have a better suggestion 80))

    Maybe a question to the Live Doctor this Wednesday??

    Kurly ;)

    Ps….I have contacted the User Happiness Team to ask for help or guidance as none of the above turquoise blue options at the top of this page answer the question of what to do in the spring or autumn clock changes in the U.K. or USA.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
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    Graduate

    As both my alarms (phone and fitbit) will update the time automatically overnight on saturday, I plan to set my alarm for an hour earlier for sunday morning. It should feel normal at least. And then revert the alarm to the 'correct' time for Monday.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hello All UK Sleepios – the clocks changing this coming weekend; (not sure when it happens in the USA.)

    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/jetlag/

    This is the reply from Sleepio to help us for the coming clock change where we ‘gain’ an extra hour – not much good to us Sleepios if we’re struggling to sleep in the hours we normally get 80))

    Personally, I just wish the U.K. government could leave us on BST – but then it would mean in some areas where children would be going to school in the dark…imagine that??!! Ok I’m being a little sarcastic – but kids manage just fine going to clubs and stuff after school when it’s dark – and they even wander around in the dark on Hallowe’en frightening each other and themselves!! Ah lolilol!

    I hope it helps – it seems we have to think of gaining the hour like travelling west through a time zone and adjust accordingly.

    The biggest cues for us will be daylight – I know I bang on about circadian rhythms affecting our body’s internal clocks – and the prof reiterates it in the article.
    So when you wake up and it’s light outside, probably best to get up.
    Go well, my Sleepio friends 80)

    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I stand by my comments in the spring. 15 minutes a week for me. I was surprised to hear a radio discussion about it on Monday – seems so early this year. I immediately put my (not smart) phone back by 15 min which also is my watch and alarm. I have the official time from other devices, the radio and the town hall clock so am able to function in the world whilst knowing that the real time is in my pocket. As long as I catch it a week early, the world is never more than half an hour adrift from me.

    I remember when we did stick to summer time all year round. I hated it. There is something delightful about the nights drawing in so early in the winter. I might be willing to consider GMT all year round. Again another childhood memory of disliking having to go to bed when it was still light reinforces this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Peter, you need to go with what ever works well for you and your spring plan seemed to go well 80))
    I haven’t found the clocks going back such a difficulty…spring was worse.

    I too, remember as a child having to go to bed when it was still sunny and very warm – made it hard to believe it was bed time!!!
    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Just put my clock back another 15min. One more week to go before being on the same time as everyone else,. Was actually woken by alarm this morning!

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