Dealing with Sleep As the Clocks Go Forward on Sunday March 13th


Next weekend, on Sunday, March 13th, the clocks go forward as we “spring ahead”.


We are “losing” one hour of sleep.

We re-enter daylight saving time.

What is daylight saving time anyway?

Daylight Savings Time sketch

Daylight saving time in the United States is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour during the warmer part of the year, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less.

DST normally adds 1 hour to standard time with the purpose of making better use of daylight and conserving energy. This means that the sunrise and sunset are one hour later, on the clock, than the day before.

Sidenote: Did you know that the first place to use DST was Canada in 1908? Go Canada!

Back to DST


If you don’t have children (and are not working overnight), this sucks and you lose an hour of sleep.

If you do have kids, it may help you a bit but it can be complicated.

According to Dr. and in my sleep medicine practice, sleep to occurring, most commonly in the form of night-time awakenings and irritability.

Most teenagers and adults will benefit from getting up an hour earlier the day after “springing ahead” to avoid significant insomnia on Sunday night. It’s

During the transition, it is crucial to get up at your/his/her “typical” time on Sunday (e.g. if they typically wake up at 10 AM on Sundays, they continue to even though they lose an hour of sleep.) They will be more tired on Sunday night and have an easier time going to sleep.

Dr. Canapari explains that for someone who sleeps from 11 PM-10 AM on weekends, do the following:

  1. Saturday: Go to bed 11 PM (OLD TIME)
  2. Sunday: Get up 10 AM (NEW TIME)

If someone has severe insomnia and/or difficulty getting up in the morning already.  This may also include teens with autism who often struggle more than others with these transitions. 

Moving bedtime earlier by 10 minutes a night for five nights if you can talk them into it will help a lot. Dr. Mitchell explains that adjusting wake time is more important that falling asleep time.

Here are some more example from Dr. Carpenter, for someone with a 10 PM-6 AM schedule on weekdays and 11 PM-10 AM on weekends:

  1. Monday Night: Bedtime 9:50 PM Tuesday wake time 5:50 AM
  2. Tuesday Night: Bedtime 9:40 PM Wednesday wake time 5:40 AM
  3. Wednesday Night: Bedtime 9:30 PM Thursday wake time 5:30 AM
  4. Thursday Night: Bedtime 9:20 PM Friday wake time 5:20 AM
  5. Friday Night: Bedtime 10:10 PM Saturday wake time 9 AM
  6. Saturday Night: Bedtime 10 PM Sunday Wake time: 10 AM (new time)

You can also get more info from sleep expert Jody Mindell on this topic here.

Do you plan to make any adjustment before the clock goes forward?

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