Originally at: https://sleephub.com.au/start-daylight-saving-time/
Worried about adjusting for the start of daylight saving time?
On Sunday 6th October, in the early hours of the morning, daylight saving time begins in Australia (unless you live in QLD, WA or NT). At 2am, clocks shift forward an hour to 3am. If you are a good sleeper, you’re probably not reading this anyway, as you will generally be able to go to bed at your usual time (according to the clock), and get to sleep without a problem. However, if you have trouble sleeping, it’s important to have a plan to minimise the impact of this change on your sleep.
What problems might I run in to?
With the clock shifting forward an hour, the most common problems people run in to are:
- Not feeling tired at their normal bed time
- Trouble getting up in the morning
- Being anxious about what will happen with sleep
Shifting the clock forward 1 hour, is the same as shifting your entire schedule 1 hour earlier, or travelling 1 time zone to the east.
Going to bed
With the new time being 1 hour later, it’s likely that you won’t feel sleepy or fall asleep readily if you go to bed at the new time. As such, don’t just go to bed at the same clock time out of habit, instead on Sunday night, aim to stay up an hour later. This has 2 effects:
- Helping you build up a little more sleep debt, making it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep
- Delaying your body clock, so that your internal clock also shifts 1 hour later
Over the next few days, as you begin to feel sleepy earlier, you can shift the time you go to bed earlier. This could be in half hour steps, or if you are more cautious go to bed 15 minutes earlier each day, and in 4 days you will have adjusted to the new time.
Most people can shift their body clock up to 2 hours later each 24 hours without much effort. We see this when we travel across time zones. Going from Melbourne to Perth, a 2 hour later shift, generally takes a only a day or two to adjust to. Interestingly people find travelling to the east or shifting their clocks earlier harder, and can generally only shift 1 hour earlier each 24 hours. So travelling from Perth back to Melbourne takes longer to adjust.
Getting up in the morning
It’s likely that you’ll want to wake later than your usual waking time, as with the time change, this will be an hour later. However, over a …