Daylight savings time may be a welcome sign of spring and the long summer nights to come, but the “lost hour” can have short-term effects on your normal sleeping patterns.
“When you ‘spring forward’ and advance your clocks an hour, the change disrupts your sleep pattern and causes your body clock to become out of sync with the daylight-nighttime cycle,” said Dr. Callum Dupre, board certified neurologist, fellowship trained sleep medicine specialist, and medical director of the Capital Health Center for Sleep Medicine. “If you’re a night owl, the switch to daylight savings time could have a more noticeable impact.”
Your best defense against the disruption caused by the time change is maintaining a consistent sleep routine. Instead of altering your schedule to compensate for the hour of sleep you lose, select a bedtime ritual, such as a warm bath, listening to calm music or reading a book. After you make it through the time change, sticking to a routine year round will go a long way in improving your quality of sleep and reducing your risk of illness and chronic health problems.
Other tips include:
- Create a relaxing bedroom.
- Remove work materials, computers and televisions.
- Keep it quiet, dark and cool.
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake.
- If you can't sleep, try relaxing in another room until you feel tired.
- Exercise regularly but not close to bedtime.
If you or your family is having sleep-related problems, contact the Capital Health Center for Sleep Medicine. As the largest, fully accredited center in Mercer and Bucks counties, the Center has provided comprehensive evaluation and treatment for sleep disorders in adults and children for more than 20 years.
Call 609.584.5150 or visit www.sleepatcapitalhealth.com.