Lucky folks across much of eastern Australia will welcome an extra hour of shut-eye as daylight saving comes to an end on Sunday. Clocks in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT will lose an hour at 3am, joining the same time zone as Queensland.
The extra 60 minutes provides an opportunity to kick-start healthy sleep habits, says Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health director Danny Eckert.
“When we wind the clock back as we are about to do, there is the opportunity to get more sleep. People may find it easier to fall asleep earlier in the evening and wake up at a more appropriate time,” he told AAP.
“This can be especially helpful for children and adolescents who may be finding it very tough to wake up in the morning at present.”
A healthier sleep schedule is also key to reducing the risks of a heart attack or stroke, according to a recent study conducted by Professor Eckert and his team at Flinders University.
The study found people who regularly vary their bedtimes by as little as half an hour are up to 30 per cent more likely to have high blood pressure than those who don’t.
For those who do so by more than 90 minutes, that increases to a whopping 90 per cent.
Anyone seeking better sleep beyond Sunday is best advised to aim for 7-8 hours of slumber each night, Prof Eckert said.
“This is a great opportunity to not only reset the clock but also reset your lifestyle.”
South Australians can also enjoy an extra hour of counting sheep, returning to Australian Central Time, half an hour behind the eastern seaboard. Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory do not observe daylight saving.
Daylight saving will return on the first Sunday of October.