It’s that time of year again, the time that we are plunged into terrible darkness by 4 in the afternoon and the hours wile on, interminable and chilly, like vampire hands. Or, whatever, it’s the end of daylight savings! No biggie! And apparently, say some people in the sleep business, this “fall back” crap is actually good for you, even if you have to pull out your SAD lamp and sleep on it.
From ABC News:
“Generally, it is always easier to stay up an hour later than to go to sleep an hour earlier, so most people have relatively little problem setting the clocks back in the fall,” said Dr. Steven Feinsilver, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, in an email. “This is because our basic circadian rhythm (the ‘body clock’) actually seems to be programmed for a longer than 24 hour day. It runs a little slow.”
Also, it’s more “natural” this way:
“The circadian clock does not change to the social change,” said chronobiology researcher Till Roenneberg of Ludwig Maximilans University in Munich, Germany. “During the winter, there is a beautiful tracking of dawn in human sleep behavior, which is completely and immediately interrupted when daylight saving time is introduced in March.”
Other researchers, however, say that the stress of time changes are bad for you, which is why you should always have some red wine at the ready after you trudge home in the cold, dark, lonely world. (Have some beef liver handy, too, for your Vitamin D levels.)
Daylight Savings will end this Sunday, November 6, at 2 a.m., so, if you have clocks that don’t change automatically, you should set them back one hour before you go to bed. Because this verbiage has always confused us, we’ll clarify: This means you set them an hour earlier. Someday we’ll finally get it, and then we’ll have to “spring forward” (Sunday, March 11, 2012).
We’re jealous, Arizona and Hawaii.