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Daylight Saving Time and Sleep

girl sleeping by book help sleep betterDaylight Saving Time starts Sunday March 12th, 2017 at 2am. By losing one hour of sleep, this time change tends to be difficult to adjust to. When we move the clocks forward one hour, our own internal clock, or circadian rhythm, becomes out of sync with the new day and night schedule where light is the cue for our bodies to wake and dark signals us to sleep.

You can make the transition to Daylight Saving Time easier by going to bed earlier the night before. As a general rule, sleep experts say it takes about one day to adjust to each hour of change. As always, make sleep a priority and follow these basic good sleep hygiene tips.

  • Keep a routine sleep/wake schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. This helps maintain your circadian rhythm or internal clock.
  • Exercise. A regular moderate exercise routine has proven to be beneficial to the quality of sleep and will help you feel more alert during waking hours.
  • Create a daily ritual an hour before bedtime to allow your body to get drowsy. Dim the lights, take a warm shower or bath, listen to relaxing music or read.
  • Keep the bedroom dark and cool. Our body temperature drops when we are getting drowsy. Light from TVs, electronic devices, and hot temperatures disrupts sleep. 
  • Limit drinking beverages and eating large meals in the evening too close to bedtime. Your body will have to metabolize the food and drinks and this also disrupts sleep.

    Mary Duesterhaus, RPSGT, REEGT,CRT
    Clinical Coordinator of Neurodiagnostics
    Hannibal Regional Hospital - Sleep Services

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