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Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.


Spring Forward! Helping Your Kids Adjust to Daylight Saving Time.

We set our clocks forward one hour on March 11th 2018 at 2A.M. for Daylight Saving Time. This change will give us another hour of sunlight in the evening.  Most of us welcome that extra hour of sunlight, and the feeling that spring is finally here!  The downside to the change is how it can interfere with our children’s sleep schedules. After moving the clock ahead one hour, young children who had a bedtime at around 7 or 8 PM when it is dark, may now be going to bed while it is still light.  Adults can easily adjust to the new time, but it may be more difficult for children.  For children, especially if they are not getting enough sleep already, making the adjustment to Daylight Saving Time is important.

Here are things you can do to get your kids ready for the change.

Gradually get your child ready for the time change.

Before Daylight Saving Time begins, you can put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier for a few days. By the time the clock moves forward your child will already be used to the new earlier time.

If you didn’t gradually change bedtimes you can wake your child up an hour earlier on the day before Daylight Saving Time begins. Your child will be sleepier that night and you can put them to bed an hour earlier. That way there is no lost hour of sleep and you wake your child up at their usual time, according to their internal clock.

As always, your child should develop good daily habits to sleep well and maintain healthy growth and development, both physically and mentally.

Try these tips for good sleep habits every night.

  • Keep a routine bedtime and wake time: Try to put your kids to bed and get them up at the same time each day. This helps maintain their circadian rhythm or body clock.
  • Have a bedtime ritual: Try a bath, pajamas, brushing teeth and a few pages from a book or telling a story. Your child will come to expect the routine and breeze through bedtime every night.
  • Make the room comfortable: Keep the room cool, quiet and dark. If your child needs a night light choose an amber-colored light. Blue lights tend to signal the brain to wake
  • Limit electronic use. Limit computer, cell phone, and TV use at least one hour before bed. The light emitted from these screens can stimulate the brain and interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep.

Set an example:   Set a good example as a parent and follow good sleep habits yourself. Make sleep a priority, you may find that you get better sleep and feel healthier too! 

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


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

Good Sleep Can Help Your Heart
sleep and your heartFebruary is heart health month. Please consider making good sleep a priority for a healthy heart!

Here are a few facts about sleep and heart health
• Sleep is as important for your heart as a healthy diet and exercise
• Sleep apnea when untreated

  - can increase chances of high blood pressure in the future

  - can increase the risk of stroke

  - can increase the chance of a recurrence of atrial fibrillation


Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses. You may also fight sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving. You may find yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you're not active. Many people with sleep apnea report waking up frequently to urinate and complain of a dry mouth or a sore throat when they wake.

If you think you may have a sleep disorder, please talk to your health care provider. You may need a sleep study. If you have questions about sleep and sleep disorders please call Hannibal Regional Hospital Sleep Lab at 573-248-5344.

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

Sleep may be the New Health and Beauty Secret!
sleep hygieneAccording to healthypeople.gov, 25 percent of U.S. adults are reporting insufficient sleep or rest (defined as someone who sleeps less than 6 hours a night) at least 15 out of every 30 days. Getting enough sleep helps prevent chronic diseases and promotes overall health. Sleep is associated with a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are critical to the maintenance of individual health. Adequate sleep is necessary to fight off infection and support the metabolism of sugar to prevent diabetes. If left untreated, sleep disorders and chronic insufficient sleep are associated with an increased risk of, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Did you know that quality sleep can also has positive impacts on outer beauty? According to leading dermatologists, “beauty” sleep is not just an old wives’ tale.

Medical research has shown that lack of sleep leads to increased levels of stress hormones in the body. Chronic high levels of stress hormones in the body cause increased inflammation within the skin that subsequently leads to an acceleration of aging (wrinkles!) and worsening of acne. People with poor sleep habits can have trouble with skin sensitivity and irritation due to a reduction in the skin’s ability to protect itself from chemicals and pollutants in the environment. Sleep allows the skin to restore its natural balance and increases the effectiveness of certain skin care ingredients, potentially increasing their benefit to your skin. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin will show it. Eyes look dark and puffy after even a single night of poor sleep, but chronic sleep deprivation is particularly damaging. It leads to a dull, dehydrated complexion.

Make Sleep A Priority

Take a serious look at your sleeping routine. If you are an adult who gets 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night that is great! But, if you are still sleepy keep a sleep diary next to your bed for a week or so. Write down your routine bedtimes and how you feel each morning after you shower and get ready for your day. Think about what you might change to enhance your sleep quality.

1) 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 body clock.

2) Exercise.
A regular, moderate exercise routine has proven to be beneficial to the quality and quantity of sleep and will help you feel more alert during waking hours.

3) An hour before bedtime create a daily ritual to allow your body to get drowsy.
Dim the lights, take a warm shower or bath, listen to relaxing music or read.

4) Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
Body temperature drops when we are getting drowsy. Light and sound from TVs, electronic devices and the environment will disrupt sleep.

5) Limit drinking beverages and eating large meals in the evening too close to bedtime.
Your body will have to metabolize the food and drinks you consumed, and this disrupts sleep too.

6) Invest in comfortable bedding.
Your bed should be comfortable and inviting, make sure your mattress is supportive and linens and pillows are fresh and comfortable.

If you think you may be suffering from a sleep disorder please discuss this with your primary care provider, you may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Please call Hannibal Regional Sleep Lab at 573-248-5344 with any questions you may have about sleep.

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

Sleep and Alzheimer’s disease
sleep and alzheimer's November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month. According to the Alzheimer's’ Association more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, making it the 6th leading cause of death in America.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep loss may precede Alzheimer’s. Sleep is disrupted in people who likely have early Alzheimer's disease but do not yet have the memory loss or other cognitive problems characteristic of full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study performed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, there is a link between poor sleep and brain plaques seen in the brains of those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease. The study looked at the program participant’s sleep efficiency, a measure of how much time in bed is spent asleep. The study showed the worst sleepers, those with a sleep efficiency lower than 75 percent, were five times more likely to have preclinical Alzheimer's disease than good sleepers. Sleep problems are common in people who have symptomatic Alzheimer's disease, but scientists recently have begun to suspect that poor sleep may also be an indicator of early Alzheimer’s disease.

We know that poor sleep affects diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Now Alzheimer’s disease may be added to the list. If you struggle with poor sleep, contact your healthcare provider. You could have an undiagnosed sleep disorder such as Sleep Apnea. Hannibal Regional Hospital Sleep Lab staff can answer questions you have about sleep, contact us at 573-248-5344.

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

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