Sorry you wasted the extra hour of daylight saving time trying to figure out if you gained an hour.
What will you do with the extra hour you gain tonight after you move the clocks back? Will you get up earlier (it will be lighter!) and go to the gym? Will you sleep for another 60 minutes?
Daylight Saving Time “fall back” may not equal sleep gain. Daylight Saving Time officially ends at 2:00 a.m. Sunday. In theory, “falling back” means an extra hour of sleep this weekend. In a world where sleep is often devalued and the lack of it is accepted as normal, it’s easy to think of sleep as a complete waste of time. After all, why be just laying around when you could use that time to do more things, right?
Turns out, that extra time could be a waste if you’re not well rested enough. Circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster suggests that sleep is not an indulgence but rather a crucial necessity to be at our best during our waking hours. Foster explains how “our ability to come up with novel solutions to complex problems is hugely enhanced by a night of sleep” and has even been proven to “give us a three-fold advantage in enhancing our creativity.”
The next time you consider pulling that all-nighter or getting by on just a few hours of sleep, remember that you will likely get a much higher return on your time and energy if you invest in some sweet slumber.
Losing an hour when we “spring forward” in March does a number on the sleep-deprived, and many people can’t get back to a normal sleep schedule for a few nights. Falling back, on the other hand, is a much easier transition. That extra hour has some real benefits that you can celebrate long after this weekend. Starting today, why not add an extra hour to your nightly slumber and enjoy the good feelings the next morning.
In the coming weeks, I’m going to aim for complete-lights out at 10:00 p.m. instead of 11:00 p.m. or 11:30 p.m., or later. Let’s see how long that lasts.