Watch CBS News

We lost an hour of sleep to daylight saving 2024 over the weekend. Here's how to cope

Tips to prepare for Daylight Saving Time sleep loss
Tips to prepare for Daylight Saving Time sleep loss 02:07

Ready or not, daylight saving time for 2024 is here, which means we lost an hour of sleep. On Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., clocks in most of the United States and many other countries moved forward one hour and will stay there for nearly eight months of daylight saving time. 

As opposed to "falling back" in November when we gain an hour, this time change has us "spring forward," which means losing some sleep.

"As we move our clocks ahead, there's a jolt to the system," Dr. Beth Ann Malow, a neurology and pediatrics professor at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CBS News last spring, explaining this jolt can affect our sleep and overall health.

"Sleep really impacts our health in so many ways — our weight, our mood, our heart, our lungs, our brain — that's all affected by good sleep," she says.

But there are ways to make shift less challenging, experts say. Here's how:

Actively prepare for the adjustment

Taking steps to prepare for the time change is one way to conquer the daylight saving shift.

In the days leading up to the time change, try going to bed and waking up a little bit earlier than usual to prepare your body for the hour you will lose, Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, previously told CBS News.

He also suggests avoiding afternoon caffeine and naps during this transition in order to increase your ability to fall asleep at night.

Daylight saving is also the time to prioritize your bedtime, Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans, a sleep expert and consultant to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), told CBS News ahead of last year's shift.

"Our bodies are going to want us to sleep in later relative to the clock after this, so if we don't go to bed early enough to allow for a full night of sleep, we're just going to be sort of chronically sleep deprived on top of the shift that we're experiencing," she explains. Bedtime routines are often viewed as being for children, but that adults can benefit too, "this week more than any other," she adds.

And it's not just your bedtime routine — adjusting other daily routines that are "time cues" for your body, like mealtimes, for example, can help you get into the new rhythm, the AASM says.

Soak in some sunlight

"Light is what tells our body clock or circadian rhythm what time it is," Flynn-Evans explains. "So by maximizing morning light and minimizing evening light, you should help your internal clock better adjust to this disruption that we force on ourselves twice a year."

Sleep expert Dr. Shelby Harris recently told CBS New York she advises spending time outdoors the Sunday clocks change.

"Make sure you go for a gentle walk, do something exercise-wise. It doesn't have to be hardcore. Just movement and light exposure," she said. 

The AASM also suggests heading outdoors for early morning sunlight the week after the time change. 

Don't have time to make it outside? 

Keep shades and curtains open for some natural morning light the next few days to get a head start on waking up a bit earlier, Flynn-Evans says. And Czeisler suggests eating breakfast in front of a window for an extra morning boost.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.