News Release

October 25, 2004

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

X-Tra Zzzzzzz’s?

UConn Sleep Specialist Offers Tips for Retiring to Standard Time

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Setting clocks backward trumpets an extra hour of sleep, right? Not exactly, said sleep expert Daniel McNally, M.D., head of the Sleep Disorder Center at UConn Health Center. “It’s not as tough on people as the springtime change,” he said, “but nevertheless you still have to adjust to a disruption in regular sleep patterns, and that will affect how rested you feel – baseball fans know all about that. In reality, you probably won’t get an extra hour of sleep – especially if the World Series goes into seven games.”

World Series aside, early morning light is likely to rouse you. “It’s the ‘larks’ who normally have the most problems,” said Dr. McNally. “These are the folks who get up and get going early in the morning and then are sleepy in the early evening. It’ll be worse for them, but probably not as bad as for baseball fans who will be deprived of sleep watching the World Series,” said McNally. “Others who will be affected are young adults, notorious for not getting enough sleep in general,” he said.

Here are some hints from Dr. McNally, so you don’t fall back on your sleep:

  • Stay on the clock: Get to bed at your usual time Saturday evening and don’t set the clock back until then. If you wake up at your usual time, which body-clock wise will be an hour later, you’ve clocked an extra hour of sleep.
  • Pull down the shades: Sunrise is an hour earlier. It’s best to sleep in a darkened room until you wake up – then turn on the lights. That will help you become more alert and help adjust your biological clock to the new time schedule.
  • Early birds: You will probably rise and shine, regardless of what the clock says, and find that you’re dragging by the end of the day. Stay up with your usual bed time Sunday, close the blinds, and you should be reasonably acclimated in a day or two.
  • The children: The easiest way for toddlers and young children to get used to the time change is to let them stay up an extra 5 to 15 minutes for a few days before the time change and then let them sleep in a little.

“If you throw the World Series into the mix that extra hour can help, a little, maybe,” McNally said.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

Note: News professionals are invited to visit the UConn Health Today news page ( for regularly updated news and feature stories, photos and media stories. News releases are archived at UConn Health news and information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.