A sleep specialist explains impacts of Daylight Saving Time as it ends over the weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday.
Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday.(WEAU)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The clock falls back an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday morning granting us an extra hour of sleep.

“I think a lot of us will feel refreshed on Sunday morning when we get that extra hour of sleep,” said Dr. Timothy Young, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System. “I think most of us know when you have a shorter night than average, we all feel a little bit irritable.”

Dr. Young says the hour lost in the Spring can lead to more than just crankiness.

“Most of the studies have been done in the Spring when we lose an hour of sleep. And there has been some associated risk with increased heart attacks, increased traffic accidents.,” said Dr. Young. “It’s not exactly clear why that is, and you’d think that would all reverse in the Fall when we get that extra hour.”

Adjusting the clocks twice every year is something Dr. Young says everyone should be used to.

“There is some evidence the body takes 24 to 48 hours to adjust to such a change, but we’ve all done this when we travel to a different time zone. It’s the same idea, we either gain an hour or lose an hour,” said Dr. Young. “That’s a time to sort of plan ahead. In other words, you have to know when that date is on the calendar.”

Some people find it hard to adjust.

“It messes my sleep schedule... it’s just harder to wake up in the morning, that’s the main thing,” said Erin Sabinash, a sophomore at UW-Eau Claire.

“The time change is kind of tough, I have little kids, so they’re up early anyways.... It would be nice to just do away with it,” said Alli Gumz, a business owner in Eau Claire.

“There should be times where everybody has enjoyed the daylight hours when they’re working or not working,” said Brian Thompson, who enjoys the extra hour of daylight because of his hobby in photography.

The debate for needing or not needing Daylight Saving Time continues.

“It’s a difficult question, and experts have argued in both directions. So that tells you it’s hard to say there’s one correct answer. One way or the other,” said Dr. Young. “We’ll see what happens as more data is uncovered in coming years to say which one is better.”

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to stick with Daylight Saving Time year-round, but the Sunshine Protection Act is currently held up in the U.S. House of Representatives.