It’s back. Eastern Standard Time that is. Remember before you go to bed Saturday night to set your clocks back one hour.
While we celebrate the anticipation of that extra hour of sleep, it could have its negative effects. Dr. Shawn Youngstedt, a sleep researcher in the USC Arnold School of Public Health says many people for at least a day or two will find that their “body clocks” will also have to undergo an adjustment.
Youngstedt says with the time change, people will discover the sun peeking through their windows an hour earlier when they’re trying to squeeze out the last few minutes of precious slumber. That can be difficult because light can retard the body’s production of the “sleep hormone,” melatonin.
Youngstedt says there is a common notion, especially in American society, that we are all “sleep deprived” because of so many distractions in our modern lifestyles like city noise, 24-hour cable, and our fascination with the internet. But Youngstedt says in actuality that is a myth.
Youngstedt says the amount of sleep that an individual needs varies. While most think that eight hours is the ideal amount, Youngstedt says studies have shown that seven hours may be the “magic bullet” for most individuals.
Youngstedt says another myth is that exercising before bedtime can adversely affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. However, the reverse is actually true.