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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Transitions into and out of daylight saving time compromise sleep and the rest-activity cycles

Tuuli A Lahti1, Sami Leppämäki12, Jouko Lönnqvist13 and Timo Partonen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland

2 Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

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BMC Physiology 2008, 8:3  doi:10.1186/1472-6793-8-3

Published: 12 February 2008



The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of transition out of and into daylight saving time on the rest-activity cycles and sleep. Rest-activity cycles of nine healthy participants aged 20 to 40 years were measured around transitions out of and into daylight saving time on fall 2005 and spring 2006 respectively. Rest-activity cycles were measured using wrist-worn accelerometers. The participants filled in the Morningness-Eveningness and Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaires before starting the study and kept a sleep diary during the study.


Fall transition was more disturbing for the more morning type and spring transition for the more evening type of persons. Individuals having a higher global seasonality score suffered more from the transitions.


Transitions out of and into daylight saving time enhanced night-time restlessness and thereby compromised the quality of sleep.