With daylight saving time set for Sunday morning, UT experts are encouraging people to take advantage of the extra hour.
Daylight saving time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 1. Winding back clocks by one hour results in an extra hour of the day.
Subimal Datta, UT professor of psychology, notes that contrary to popular belief, daylight saving time doesn’t always result in people getting an extra hour of sleep.
“It might give people a psychological boost the first day or week. But the potential benefits are nullified thereafter because people begin delaying their sleep time, which cancels out the advantage,” said Datta. “Physiologically, it doesn’t work in the end.”
Most people use this extra hour not as a way to catch up on sleep but as an excuse to stay up later, and thus get the same amount of sleep as normal. Going to bed at the same time as usual will allow people to properly gain the hour instead of letting it go to waste.
“So many people are operating on a sleep deficit that is detrimental to their performance and well-being,” said Jeffrey Fairbrother, interim head of the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies.
Experts in the department are encouraging people to use the extra hour to their advantage. Whether you use the extra time to catch up on some z’s or to burn off calories from Halloween candy, plan to do something that promotes health and wellness.
“Don’t waste your extra hour,” said Fairbrother. “Going to bed at your usual time will give you an extra hour on Sunday that you can use to sleep later, go for a walk or exercise, or do something else that is good for you.”
The American College of Sports Medicine’s health benefits of walking states that walking twenty minutes a day will burn seven pounds of body fat a year; walking thirty minutes a day can halve the risk of heart disease by reducing stress, cholesterol and blood pressure; and walking forty-five minutes a day halves the odds of catching a cold.
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