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Daylight Saving: Springing Forward Harder Than Falling Back

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(credit: CBS) Edward Moody
Edward Moody joined WCCO-TV as a reporter and weekend anchor in Augu...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Daylight saving time is this weekend, and we’ll move our clocks forward an hour. While it’s nice to have an extra daylight at the end of the day, this time change can feel like jet lag.

That hour makes a difference. It’s a big change in a short period of time, and spring forward is often harder than the fall time change.

In fact, according to Dr. Conrad Iber, medical director of Fairview’s sleep program, the number of car accidents is higher on the Monday after daylight saving in spring versus the fall.

When we are sleepy, our brains don’t work as well. Iber calls it sleep drunkenness — you wake up and you’re not quite ready for the day. For kids and teens, it can be especially difficult.

“They tend to be night owls, and that makes them very susceptible to this change,” Iber said. “It hits them hard. It hits them because they are sleep deprived, and they tend to wake up late anyway, so they are really in trouble for several hours often in the morning.”

For spring ahead, the best preparation is a regular sleep pattern for a week going into the change.

And put down the cell phones. Iber says electronics are a big stealer of sleep for teens.

“About 80-90 percent of kids in this state have cell phones in their bedroom, as you can imagine.  It’s a big deal.  Cell phone, iPad, computer stuff should be put to bed by 11 at night.”

Here are some tips to help everyone get through this weekend’s time change:

1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday, to minimize the impact of getting up earlier on Monday morning. Maybe consider setting your clock ahead Friday evening, allowing an extra day to adjust over the weekend.

2. Eat a good breakfast.

3. Spend time outside in the sunlight in the early morning hours over the few days leading up to the clock change.

4. Do your daily exercise in the mornings over this weekend.

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