People in seventy different countries will be “falling back” once again this weekend, setting their clocks behind an hour.

I know what you’re thinking: Saturday night you get to sleep in a bit longer than you otherwise might have. However, a number of recent studies have shown that we do not gain from this, but that the negative effects can linger for a week or longer!

Keeping the Rhythm

Human beings, like all other mammals, have a sleep cycle that is intimately tied to the 24-hour day. Our bodies gravitate toward sleep when the sun goes down and wake during the sunrise. This cycle is known as the circadian rhythm.

While we obviously don’t adhere to only being awake during the daytime and only sleeping at night time, our unconscious brain is attuned to this daily cycle. 

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What is Daylight Savings Time Doing to Us?

Daylight Savings Time (DST) introduces an artificial interruption into our daily circadian rhythm. The effect that this has on our bodies has only recently been understood.

This time-shift change is similar to jet lag, and can lead to grogginess, problems maintaining attention and alertness, and even some more serious effects. This can disrupt your ability to get deep, REM sleep as well.


How Can You Combat Daylight Savings?

Other than writing a strongly worded letter to your congressperson, there’s nothing you can do to change DST. There are ways to mitigate its effects on your sleep for the following week.

First, it’s important to understand what melatonin is, and what its relationship is with the circadian sleep-wake cycle.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the Pineal gland deep inside our brains. In normal circumstances, melatonin is secreted into our bloodstreams as the night approaches - usually around two hours before your bedtime - and peaks around 3-4 a.m. in a standard sleep cycle.

The function of melatonin appears to be diverse, acting as the “darkness” hormone, and in a sense ‘triggering’ or ‘synchronizing’ the necessary functions in the brain that tell the body to sleep.

The disruption caused by the DST on our normal circadian rhythm, especially during our ‘fall-back’ transition, means we have trouble falling asleep, and once asleep, often can’t stay asleep, or sleep soundly.

Natural solutions can include introducing supplemental melatonin into your diet prior to bedtime.

Utzy’s Micro Melatonin offers a more gentle dosage of the hormone, to help you better modulate, and ensure that you don’t wake up too groggy.

The transition to earlier bedtimes can be aided by our Fall Asleep formula, which can help you better ease into a more natural transition.

You can also check out our free guide on how to get a perfect night of sleep, you can download it here