Brain Fog and Changing Clocks

Jessie Ace avatar

by Jessie Ace |

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Annually, I’m frustrated by the changing of our clocks due to the end of daylight saving time.

It seems so straightforward: Time either goes backward or forward by an hour. That’s it. It doesn’t seem so challenging to comprehend.

Or does it?

For me, adjusting our clocks messes up my head for an entire day. With MS, that type of confusion is unacceptable. 

For example, I’ll spend the entire day walking around thinking, “It’s 9 a.m., but it would be 10 a.m.” Or, “It’s 7:30 p.m. Wait, no, it’s not. It’s 8:30 p.m.” It’s so confusing.

It becomes even more annoying when half of the clocks in the house are digital and half are analog, especially when some are hard to adjust and we forget whether we did it or not. Then we’re confused about what time it is again. Neither my husband nor I can figure out how to change the clock in our car, so it usually displays the wrong time seven months out of the year. 

Add to this confusion having to make international calls, and you have a right headache. I’m in the U.K., and the U.S. is anywhere from five to eight hours behind us, while Australia is seven to 12 hours ahead. When other countries change their times, I lose where I am. 

Time adjustments are the enemy of podcasting. People think podcasting is straightforward, and we “just talk to people.” But that’s not the case. I once had a guest from the U.S. who changed time zones each week as he flew around the country. Even he didn’t know where he would be sometimes, much less whether he could do an interview. Trying to pin him down to a time was difficult and took months. 

When I get tired, I become considerably confused by the simplest of things. Brain fog is real. My head can’t make sense of anything, and I feel foolish. My words start to come out in the wrong order, or my brain decides to chuck words into sentences where they don’t belong. It’s really frustrating. I laugh along with others about the silly thing I just said, but I hate it when people pick out the errors I make in sentences. 

Half of us with MS have cognition problems, which might include thinking or memory problems, concentration issues, decision-making difficulties, or troubles understanding things. We don’t need extra confusion caused by daylight saving time. Am I alone in thinking this?

Don’t get me wrong, though, it was great to have an extra hour in bed! 

How do you deal with daylight saving time and brain fog? Please share in the comments below. 


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Jeanne avatar


Love your column, Jessie.

I'm a regular reader, and a Canadian grandmother/guardian to my 15 yr old grandson, who was diagnosed RRMS 2 yrs ago.

The candid experiences and feelings you share help me have compassion and understanding for what he is dealing with on a 24/7 365 basis. It has also been extremely helpful in explaining to educators exactly why they have this kid, who won't fit in "the box", in their classrooms.

Thanks so much!

Jessie Ace avatar

Jessie Ace

Thank you so much, Jeanne.So sorry to hear about your grandson, I hope he's doing well. I'm so glad you found my column helpful. Is there anything specific you'd like me to talk about?

Georgia Pinson Joy avatar

Georgia Pinson Joy

Hey Jessie,
I completely understand! I try to prepare myself for the time change about a week before. I use Alexa to help remind me and my i-phone. Spring forward is more difficult than falling back an hour!

Michael Bradley avatar

Michael Bradley

Yes, fognitive cog is un-, or at least under-acknowledged.
I find it impossible to follow big conversations in all the sturm and drang of
crosstalk, and my memory-recall frequently puts in a go slow.
If you can get a neuropsych, they may help with it.


Jessie Ace avatar

Jessie Ace

With you there Michael! Thanks so much for the tip, i'll look into that. Hope you're having a great day today #StayENabled

Penny-Marie Wright avatar

Penny-Marie Wright

I am with you on the foggy brain. I can see it in my brain but trying to put it down on paper it's screwed up. Also I know in my brain what I want to do but my hands won't do it correctly. As for the time change I can't remember if I changed the 1 in my vehicle or not & this is Nov. 14th. In the apt. it's easier because the tv has a box that gives the correct time without me changing it so I use it to do all the ones in the apt. I wish Alberta did the same as Saskatchewan does & stays on the same time year round. I heard that pilots complain about it which doesn't make sense to me because if they travel across Canada or the world they face time changes constantly along the way.


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