Sunday is daylight saving time, when most Americans spring forward one hour. 

While an extra 60 minutes may seem like it would have a marginal effect on people, the reality is that research shows daylight saving time and the subsequent lack of sleep can negatively impact a person’s health. 

The week after the shift to daylight saving time is associated with a 24% higher risk of heart attacks, 6% spike in fatal car accidents and an 8% increase in the rate of strokes, according to Northwestern Medicine

To that end, leaders on the state and federal level have examined proposals to eliminate the changing of the clocks and make daylight saving time permanent, joining the likes of Hawaii and most of Arizona.

Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.), reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023, which would make daylight saving time permanent. 

While policy changes like that get debated by lawmakers, many people wonder what they can do to overcome the effects of the clocks changing and keep their sleep cycles intact.  

Dr. Pedram Navab, FAASM, Esq., is a neurologist, sleep medicine specialist and author of Sleep Reimagined: The Fast Track to a Revitalized Life

In light of the occasion, Navab offered five tips for achieving a more restful sleep and overcoming the effects of insomnia. 

1. Establish a nighttime routine: Navab said that people should aim to get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.

2. Get some sunlight: He said that people should seek to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight within 30 minutes of waking up each morning.

3. Put away the cell phone: Given the well known effects of screen time in terms of contributing to sleep deprivation, Navab suggested leaving the phone as well as other electronic devices outside the bedroom. 

He added that these devices can lead to restless nights and decrease melatonin, which is needed for sleep. 

4. Find comfort to fall asleep: Should a person struggle to get some sleep, Navab recommended focusing on comforting, happy thoughts in the meantime. 

5. Don’t look at the clock: Finally, he said not to glance at Father Time, as the process will only lead to added anxiety and disappointment.  

In addition to these tips, Navab took on five myths associated with sleeping habits. These include the idea that people can make up for lost sleep on the weekends, that the body can get acclimated to less sleep and function adequately as well as thinking that getting more sleep is good sleep. 

Additionally, Navab said that getting enough hours of sleep is not all that matters, arguing that quality counts just as much as quantity. He also said that maintaining proper circadian timing is important.