How Is Sleep Affected by Changing Clocks and Seasons?


How are you sleeping?

How are you sleeping? A new study has found the transition from daylight saving time to standard time, when one hour is gained overnight, was associated with a brief increase in sleep disorders such as difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep, but there was no such association when an hour is lost in the change from standard time to daylight saving time. The study is published in the May 3, 2023, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. It also found a small difference in the amount of sleep people get depending on the season.

“Sleep plays an essential role in maintaining good health, mood, cognition, job performance, and social activity, and it is influenced by the circadian rhythm, the internal clock that regulates body processes,” said study author Ron B. Postuma, MD, MSc, of McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “The good news is that the sleep disruptions we observed following the change to standard time were brief and no longer evident two weeks after the shift.”

The study involved 30,097 people, ages 45 to 85, who completed a questionnaire about sleep duration and satisfaction, ability to fall asleep, ability to remain asleep and excessive sleepiness during the day. Questions included, “Over the last month, how often did it take you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep?” and “Over the last month, how often did you wake in the middle of the night or too early in the morning and found it difficult to fall asleep again?” Those who responded three or more times a week to either of these questions were considered to have sleep problems.

Read more at American Academy of Neurology

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