Australia

Daylight saving has begun. Here’s how to minimise its affects on your health

Many Australians will have lost an hour of sleep, with the promise of longer and warmer days ahead, as daylight saving begins in most jurisdictions.
Overnight at 2am local time, the first Sunday in October, clocks were put forward one hour.
Daylight saving ends at 2am (which is 3am Daylight Saving Time) on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are put back one hour.
Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT observe daylight saving, while Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia do not.

Here’s how you can adjust, and look after your health.

How moving the clocks forward affects our sleep

While moving the clocks forward in spring means we “gain” an extra hour of daylight, the Sleep Health Foundation says we also lose an hour of sleep if we’re not prepared.
In general, it says moving clocks can disrupt sleep patterns, with “losing” an hour often being more difficult to adjust to than “gaining” an hour when they’re put back.
Why? Because our circadian rhythms – 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal “clock” – are timed to match the environmental cycle of light and darkness, and this is thrown out of sync when we are waking at a time the body clock is programmed for sleep.
“Our internal body clock or 24-hour circadian rhythm will have to adjust to the time shift,” it says on its website.
“Although most people will do this without any problem, we do need to be aware that there is an increased chance of sleepiness while the body adjusts to the new time frame.”

People already struggling with getting enough sleep, such as those with a sleep disorder or who perform shift work, may find it more difficult to adjust, while children will also take longer, the foundation says.

How can daylight saving affect our health?

While some argue there are good sides to daylight saving time, for example more hours of daylight, others argue it also creates problems.
The relationship between sleep and our overall physical and mental health is well-documented. Beyond impacting concentration and mood, lack of sleep .
Large-scale studies have shown that chronic sleep disturbance is also , such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Some studies have also looked at short-term effects of daylight saving time, which can include shorter sleep duration along with worse performance and health.
According to a 20-year study to 2020, immediately went up 13 per cent, and remained higher over the first two days.
When it comes to chronic effects, have shown that time differences between the “body clock” and “social clock” are associated with lower life expectancy and cognitive problems.

Tips on how to adjust to daylight saving

The Sleep and Health Foundation recommends going to bed 15-20 minutes earlier for three to four days before the clocks are put forward.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, setting our alarm 30 minutes earlier can help in preparation for the early start on Monday.

Once it has taken place, there are ways to adjust to daylight saving time.

The foundation recommends making the bedroom as bright as possible when we first wake, along with going outside in the sunlight, and/or exercising outdoors, in the mornings.

Along with advice on getting between seven to nine hours sleep each night, it can help to avoid exercise just before going to bed, along with drinking coffee, tea or other caffeine drinks and smoking before bed or during the night.

The case for daylight saving in Queensland

There have been renewed calls for another vote on daylight saving in Queensland, however, in February,
At the time, she said the issue was not a focus after a suggested referendum by the Brisbane lord mayor.

“We have listened to the people Queensland who have previously said they do not want daylight savings,” Ms D’Ath previously said.

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