The start of Daylight Saving Time (DST), when our clocks "spring forward" by one hour, is often looked upon with dread, as we clutch, Gollum-like, to that precious hour of sleep that is inevitably snatched from our grasp at 2:00 a.m. on the dot sometime in mid-March. In turn, the end of DST in November is greeted somewhat warmly: Sure, it'll still be dark at 7:00 a.m., but at least we get another sweet, sweet hour of sleep, right?
As lovely as a free hour of sleep may sound, it might not be the silver bullet we want it to be. When the clocks "fall back" this Sunday, November 4, most of us will probably wake up feeling, well, about the same as we did the day before.
A 2013 review, published in Sleep Medicine Reviews, found that very few people actually get an additional hour of sleep when DST ends. Instead, many people tend to wake up earlier in the following days, essentially negating any additional sleep they may have gotten that first, post-DST night. So, falling back one hour might not make the next morning feel any more refreshing — and it could usher in almost a weeklong adjustment period for our sleep schedules.
Nevertheless, both the American National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine still views the end of Daylight Saving Time as an opportunity for the sleep-deprived to try to get our sleep schedules back on track. If you really want to make this weekend's snooze count, don't solely rely on the clock — make sure your bedroom is at a comfy temperature, read a relaxing book, put your phone down, and, if you want to really invest in a good night's sleep, you can always splurge on a sleep coach. And, if the extra nighttime hours are getting you down, consider investing in a SAD lamp.