Adjusting Your Sleep Schedule for Daylight Saving Time

Print icon

Spring is almost here and that means daylight saving time is right around the corner! That luxurious extra hour of sunlight means one less hour of sleep at the time change, but do we really need to adjust our sleep schedule to prepare for March 10?

Dr. Susan Rubman, insomnia specialist and the director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Sleep Disorders Center, says yes.

“Going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for the two nights preceding the time change can help us make up part of that hour of sleep that we will lose on Saturday night. However, it’s actually more important to wake up at the same time every day because that is the most effective way to control your sleep schedule,” said Dr. Rubman. “Waking up at vastly different times, especially on the weekend, makes it more difficult to sleep at night. If you feel like you must sleep in on the weekends, allow yourself up to one extra hour of sleep.”

The body has its own sleep/wake alarm clock, known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located deep in the brain. It regulates our sleep schedule in response to light, temperature and other cues, which can be thrown off if you go to bed and wake up at different times each day.

Prepare for the time change without missing a wink of sleep by following these suggestions:

  • Use night mode on your hand-held electronics in the evening to eliminate the stimulating light wavelengths that can keep your brain active well into the night.
  • No caffeine after 3 p.m. or within six hours of your normal bed time. Learn which foods and beverages contain caffeine – some may surprise you.
  • Avoid naps longer than one hour or within six hours of normal bed time.
  • No alcohol within four hours of bed time.
  • Create a setting that is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable.

Looking for more tips on getting a good night’s rest? For more information, please visit

What's New

Flu Season

Here’s What’s in Your Flu Vaccine: Will It Work This Season?

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were sunning ourselves at Hammonasset Beach? Actually, yes it was, but now it’s officially fall and we only care about one thing — the coming flu season. Predicting the severity of a flu season isn’t like predicting which team will win more football games, the...

Heart & aspirin.

Baby Aspirin a Day for Your Heart? Not For Everyone

While about 50 percent of older American adults take aspirin regularly to ward off heart disease, a new study reveals that the practice may actually cause more harm than good for healthy people. Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology and physician co-director of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute,...


Study: MitraClip Device a ‘Game-Changer’ for Heart-Failure Patients

Until now, patients with serious heart failure caused by leaky valves were treated so they felt a little better but the disease relentlessly stunted their life expectancy relentlessly. Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, however,  gives hope to these patients, according to Dr. Sabet Hashim, chair...


Report: Up to 75 Percent of Patients Don’t Take Meds as Prescribed

“Devastating” and “staggering (toll)” are adjectives used by officials with the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Medical Director Institute, or MDI, on its recent report showing a grave lack of compliance to medication prescriptions. Noncompliance with medication regimens — when people do not take prescription drugs as prescribed by their...

Kids, Social Media and Body Image

Raising teens to have a positive body image isn’t easy. And it seems to have become more complicated in the age of Snapchat and Instagram, where selfies can be filtered to perfection. Plastic surgeons have even reported that patients are visiting their practices with filtered social media images and asking...

Assessing the Hereditary Risk of Cancer

A new hereditary cancer risk assessment program is helping identify specific cancers in women and men across Connecticut. Hartford HealthCare nurse practitioner Meghan Burgess explains the importance of this program. Q: Why is it so important to have this type of assessment program? A: We’re identifying women at risk for...

What is Precision Medicine in Breast Cancer Treatment?

Precision medicine allows doctors to treat patients based on their individual biology. Dr. Camelia Lawrence is the director of breast surgery at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center. She explains how precision medicine is used in treating breast cancer.  Q: What is precision medicine? A:...