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Blog - How to Prepare Your Body for Daylight Saving Time

“You’re changing your internal body clock to adjust to this time shift,” Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a sleep medicine doctor and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, told “For some people, this can cause some problems, in others, not at all. Everyone is different.”

The best advice for getting used to the new time is to start adjusting a few days early.

Try gradually going to bed later -- by up to an hour -- in the days leading up to Nov. 6, Goel said, so that by the time the clock gets turned back, you should be on your way to being adjusted. You can do it in 15-minute increments four days ahead of time or by 30 minutes for two days.

Preparing ahead should help you be on track for getting to bed at your regular bedtime Sunday night, she said.

The fall shift is easier than in the spring because we are gaining, rather than losing an hour, and it’s easier to stay up later than it is to go to bed earlier.

Dasgupta recommends avoiding activities on the eve of the time change that can interfere with sleep, like drinking alcohol or having a heavy meal.

Once standard time returns, Dasgupta recommends exercising in the morning to avoid sleep problems at night and trying to get exposure to light -- outdoors if possible -- in the morning because light helps suppress melatonin, a hormone that gets secreted to help you sleep.

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