Daylight Saving Time will end early Sunday, so Iowans need to remember to set their clocks back an hour before heading to bed tonight. While the benefit is an “extra” hour of sleep, Brett Kuhn, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says it will take the body some time to adjust.
“It’s much like traveling west one time zone,” Kuhn says. “The main thing is, as we move the clock back, it means that your body clock is going to be out of sync for a few days. You might notice that you’re a little sleepier in the evening and you actually might wake up before your alarm goes off in the morning.”
Kuhn, who’s also a professor of pediatrics and psychology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, says the time change will be harder on some of us than others. Kuhn says, “The people who tend to be more sensitive to this particular time change are young infants and the elderly who tend to be the lark types, in other words, they’re early to bed and early to rise.”
The pattern is spring ahead, fall back, and Kuhn says the falling back is usually the easier of the two. “Unlike when we start Daylight Saving Time in the spring, when we lose an hour of sleep, this fall-back is not as a dramatic of a shift for us,” Kuhn says. “If you use the extra hour that we’re given to sleep, we tend to be more alert, more attentive and sometimes our mood even improves.”
Fire safety officials remind Iowans, when they’re changing their clocks this weekend, also change out the old batteries in your smoke detectors for fresh ones.