Ever wonder if humans are a bit like bears, wanting to hibernate during long winter nights? Studies show that we really do sleep more in the winter, with fewer hours of daylight to keep us awake. The average person sleeps about 25 minutes less per night during June than they do during January and February, and about 15 minutes less in July than in December, according to data gathered from thousands of wearers of BodyMedia armbands that track dieters’ calorie burn and sleep patterns. Our bodies produce more melatonin when it’s dark, signaling that it’s time to go to sleep, while daylight “decreases melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake,” according to the National Institutes of Health’s melatonin fact sheet.
This Sunday morning, the sun will come up an hour later than it has been. Because of that, we’ll have an extra hour of daylight in the evening. That’s welcome news for commuters who drive home in the early evening.
Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 10. We’re going to “spring forward.”
So turn your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night. You’ll have eight months before you have to turn it back to standard time on Sunday, Nov. 3.