The leaves are changing, the mornings are frostier, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier—which can only mean that the end of daylight saving time is right around the corner. This year, DST comes to an end on Sunday, November 6th at 2 a.m., which is when our clocks will “fall backwards” and go back an hour. While you may be dreading the darker evenings ahead, we do have one positive to share: we gain an extra hour of sleep that night! 

You’re probably looking forward to this extra bit of shut-eye, and rightly so—an hour of sleep is a very powerful thing! Raising your nightly amount of sleep from just six to a full seven hours actually rewards you with a number of noticeable physical and mental benefits. There is perhaps no greater demonstration of what an hour of sleep can do than the research that discovered a 21% decrease in the number of recorded heart attacks on the Tuesday following the end of DST and extra hour of sleep—and, conversely, an almost 25% increase in the incidence of heart attacks following the beginning of DST and the loss of one hour of sleep in the spring. Getting more sleep may literally save your life.

This extra hour could be just the thing to kickstart a more rested, energy-filled YOU. Wipe the slate clean on your sleep debt and start fresh. Here’s how:

Reset your clock, reset your sleep

Between quarantine and the extra stressors of 2020, you're likely not getting the restful sleep your body so desperately needs. If your sleep has been stuck in a rut lately, this extra hour of sleep coming on a Sunday offers you a great chance to start new with a sleep reset weekend. If you haven’t heard of a sleep reset before, it really just means taking a weekend to completely indulge in sleep, getting as much of it as your heart desires. This way, you can start over refreshed the next week, ready to begin practicing better sleep habits without any lingering exhaustion.

Why sleep matters

Think of any major life goal that you might have, and healthy, consistent sleep is almost guaranteed to make it easier to achieve: looking for a new job, losing weight, getting promoted, having a more positive attitude, finding a romantic partner, becoming more mindful...the list goes on. This is why there’s no better time than the present to start getting better sleep!

The end of daylight saving time is as good a time to start as any, because it reminds us just how much sleep matters. Why else would so many people look forward to getting that extra hour of sleep, unless they knew they weren’t getting enough, and a little extra sounded like an enticing idea? We tend to forget that sufficient sleep really is possible year-round. All it requires is taking the time to make your sleep a priority—the rest you can do with your eyes closed.