a woman sits looking annoyed up at a fall leaf shaped clock

Insomnia: Fall Back in Fall Does Not Help at All

It is that time of year again. The arrival of fall means more than changing foliage. For those of us who live in time zones that still observe daylight saving time, we are gearing up for another time change. Some people enjoy the time change in the fall. I do not. Any change in time has a major effect on my ability to sleep.

Changing times keep me awake

The times, they are a-changin'. Some tout the fall time change as gaining an hour of sleep. Fall back in fall, they say. I do not get an extra hour of sleep. In fact, I get less sleep for a while.

Not only does the time change, but it forces it to get darker earlier in the evening much quicker. It eliminates a portion of the transition time from daylight to dark. That transition time is important. It helps me wind down in the evening. Snatching it away makes it even more difficult to sleep.

poll graphic

Community Poll

Do you struggle with sleep more than usual during time change?

Routine changes when you have no routine

My sleep schedule really is not a schedule. It is quite random and seems to change on a regular basis. The one constant is I have a process to wind down and prepare to sleep. As the daylight dwindles away, I start to unwind and move away from work-related items. That is the first step.

When the time changes and daylight is gone before I finish the day's work, I get out of sorts. I feel wired for much longer at the end of the day. It is like working into the wee hours of the morning and getting a 'second wind.' It means it is going to take a lot longer to relax.

Can I please have some sunlight?

For those of you who have seasonal affective disorder, you understand. The dwindling daylight hours are a huge deal. We are not vampires. We need sunlight. If you live in the part of Alaska where you have darkness for months, I salute you. I could not handle it.

I live in the southern United States. In the summer, we have daylight until close to 9 PM. Changing from that to darkness before 5 PM is a big adjustment. Can we just skip this whole period of the sun setting before the day is over? I cannot sleep.

Sleeping late and spending my days in darkness

In order to get enough sleep to function, I am generally in bed, sleeping off and on until around noon. Once the time changes, I tend to be awake for around 5 hours of sunlight each day. This is not enough. Please, sir. Can I have some more?

During the winter, it feels like I am sleeping through the days. It seems the days run together because it is dark most of the time I am awake. I need sunlight to let me know when it is time to be more alert. I am indeed a night owl, but I work better when I have sunlight. It somehow triggers productivity.

Being scared of the dark

I am not literally scared of the dark. I fear the impending time change, and I am scared of the amount of darkness headed my way. The amount of sleep I get barely allows me to function. Losing even a tiny amount is a huge difference. Keep your time change. I do not get an extra hour of sleep.

Does anyone else struggle with time changes? How does it affect your sleep? I would love to hear about your experience with time changes.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Insomnia.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.