Sleep Expert Wendy Troxel Available for Interviews on Impact of Daylight Saving Time on Sleep

March 3, 2021

With Daylight Saving Time (DST) approaching—March 14 in the U.S. and March 28 in the UK—RAND senior behavioral scientist Wendy Troxel is available for interviews about the importance of sleep and the impact that time change has on sleep patterns, physical and mental health, and relationships.

Troxel, a noted sleep expert and author of the book “Sharing the Covers: Every Couple's Guide to Better Sleep,” can address how DST disrupts the body's circadian rhythm and why this is associated with negative health and safety outcomes like heart attacks and car accidents. She can discuss the importance of sleep during times of stress, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and how sleep loss can affect relationships between partners. She can also offer insight into the policy debate around DST and why some scientists argue in favor of abolishing it.

Troxel can also provide tips to help adjust to DST and minimize negative effects, including:

  • Start slowly backing up your bedtime by 15 minutes each day a few days before DST, as circadian rhythms adjust easier to smaller shifts in sleep-wake patterns. This can also help break COVID-19–related bad sleep habits like staying up later.
  • Catch up on sleep prior to Daylight Saving Time. Make it a priority to get 7–9 hours a sleep a night before the time changes so you don't start out with accumulated sleep debt.
  • Use lighting to your advantage. Help your circadian rhythm adjust by getting plenty of sunlight during the day and keeping lights low and shades drawn in the evening.
  • Simply recognizing that partners can have different sleep-wake patterns can help minimize resentment and strife immediately following DST.
  • Practice patience and forgiveness if your partner is “slangry” (sleepy + angry) in the days following DST. Sleep loss causes irritability and mood swings and can profoundly affect relationships.

Relevant Video Links

Interviews

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations:
(703) 414-4795 or
(310) 451-6913, or
send an email to media@rand.org.

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