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Pretend Your Time is Worth $1,000/Hour and You’ll Become 100x More Productive
This effectively moves an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, giving us those long summer nights. But waking up Monday morning may not be so easy, having lost an hour of precious sleep and perhaps driving to work in the dark with an extra jolt of java. How time changes actually affect you depends on your own personal health, sleep habits, and lifestyle.
Moving our clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue -- light -- for setting and resetting our hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm.
In doing so, our internal clock becomes out of sync or mismatched with our current day-night cycle. How well we adapt to this depends on several things. In general, "losing" an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than "gaining" an hour in the fall. It is similar to airplane travel; traveling east we lose time.
An "earlier" bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night. Going west, we fall asleep easily but may have a difficult time waking.
How long will it take you to adapt to time changes? Though a bit simplistic, a rule of thumb is that it takes about one day to adjust for each hour of time change.
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There is significant individual variation, however. How will you feel during this transition? If you are getting seven to eight hours of sound sleep and go to bed a little early the night before, you may wake up feeling refreshed. If you are sleep-deprived already, getting by on six hours, you're probably in a bit of trouble, especially if you consume alcohol or caffeine close to bedtime.
In this situation, you may well experience the decrements of performance, concentration, and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
What can you do to reset your internal clock to adapt more quickly to the time changes? Your circadian rhythm is internally generated but is influenced by the environment, behavior, and medications. So there may be some tired and groggy people hitting the streets Monday morning, in the dark.