The daylight-saving time change means we will spring forward and advance our clocks one hour. This effectively moves an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, giving us those nice long summer evenings.

Waking up Monday morning may not be so easy though, having lost an hour of precious sleep and perhaps driving to work in the dark with an extra jolt of java.

How time change affects you depends on your own personal health, sleep habits, and lifestyle.

Moving our clocks in either direction changes our principal time cue — light— for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. When we do, our internal clock becomes out of sync or mismatched with our current day-night cycle.

In general, “losing” an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than “gaining” an hour in the fall. It is similar to airplane travel; traveling east we lose time. An “earlier” bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night. Going west, we fall asleep easily but may have a difficult time waking.

How long will it take you to adapt to time changes? 

  • Though a bit simplistic, a rule of thumb is that it takes about one day to adjust for each hour of time change. There is significant individual variation, however.