Daylight saving is about to start: What you need to know

In a few days time the clocks will jump forward an hour, but experts have warned how daylight saving will impact our sleep.

Clocks around the country will jump forward an hour on the weekend and millions of Aussies will enjoy the long-awaited daylight extension. While the annual adjustment is something many look forward to, not all around the nation are on board — and experts have issued a warning ahead of the change.

What you need to know

  • In NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT, Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) will kick in from 2.00am on October 1 — this Sunday morning — when clocks jump forward to 3.00am, and people in those jurisdictions lose an hour's sleep.

  • Early morning commuters may find themselves setting off in the dark for the first couple of weeks until the days continue to get longer and the sun rises earlier as we head into summer.

  • Studies have suggested the time jump can cause tiredness and distress during the first week.

  • Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia don't follow daylight saving, so their time does not change. For the rest of us, the adjustment will be in place until April 7 next year.

Sunrise over the Sydney Opera House. Source: Getty
Daylight saving starts in four states and the ACT this Sunday. Source: Getty

🤔 Why should I care?

While these days, most devices — including phones, computers and cars — will automatically adjust, but, if you're one of the many who use an analogue clock, or do not own a smart phone, you'll want to make sure you're across the changes or face a potentially embarrassing mix-up.

A sleep expert, who spoke to Yahoo News, also revealed the shift can cause some major sleep problems, particularly for “night-owls” or “evening types”, who "go to bed later and wake up later".

"It'll be hard for them on weekdays if they have commitments and on the weekends, they'll tend to try to compensate for that lack of sleep by sleeping in," Dr Gorica Micic said. "Generally speaking, it takes about one to three nights to adjust."

🗣️ What they said

Clinical psychologist and sleep expert at Flinders University Dr Gorica Micic: "We do suggest that you start to adjust to the new daylight savings time in advance. So pretty much from tonight or tomorrow night, incrementally waking up about 15 or 20 minutes earlier will allow us to actually facilitate an easier transition on the Sunday morning."

Professor Leon Lack: “Our research has shown that this results in shorter sleeps on Sunday and Monday nights and more tiredness on Monday and Tuesday, and may contribute to the typical Monday morning ‘blues’.”

Chronobiologist and Monash University professor Sean Cain: “Losing that hour is quite bad, but that’s not the only thing that’s bad. Being in daylight saving, the whole time you’re there is a little bit bad for you as well because everything’s out of synchrony with the light-dark cycle. Your body’s screaming ‘go back to bed’. It’s not right, it’s very unhealthy.”

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