How to deal with the change in time

November 5, 2010 3:08:52 PM PDT
Turning clocks back an hour means the sun will wake you an hour earlier.

If you're used to going to bed at midnight, you'll have to stay awake an hour longer.

The out of sync feeling will last only a couple of days, but there are some things you can do to make things easier.

We will lose an hour early Sunday morning as we switch from Daylight Saving to Standard Time.

That means it'll be dark an hour more at night and the sun will be up an hour earlier.

"Some like it, but others are frustrated that they are waking up at six when they ideally want to get up at seven. Sometimes our bodies have one clock and we have another social clock, things we want to fit into, and they're out of sync," Shelby Harris said.

Sleep is controlled by the body's hormone melatonin. It turns off with morning light and you wake up. Darkness turns melatonin on, which makes you sleepy. Even the bright light of your laptop is enough to turn off melatonin and keep you awake.

You might use bright light such as that from a computer to help you stay awake that extra hour on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, but remember to stay away from bright lights for about an hour or two before bedtime.

The darkness will trigger melatonin to make you sleepy. Sleep another hour in the morning, by closing the blinds tight to prevent morning light from turning off the hormone.

Another tip: set your watches back on Saturday afternoon, so your mind is in sync with the new clock for a longer time.

For sleep specialist Dr. Renee Monderer, her kids are a one hour early alarm clock.

"They don't know how to read the clock yet, so they wake up at what they think is 6 o'clock. They're waking up at five o'clock, so you lose an hour of sleep when the time changes if your a mom.

For those who gain an hour of sleep, there is still a tradeoff.

"What affects me more is leaving work when it's dark, which is depressing, but you look forward to the spring," one person told us.