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Daylight Saving Time May Hurt Your Sleep

By Debra Rodzinak

Turning the clock back an hour often provides many of us with an extra hour of sleep one Saturday a year.  But this is not really true, according to experts at the Cleveland Clinic.  There are many misunderstandings in regard to daylight saving time and changing the clock twice a year.

That Hour is Not Really a Gain

Even though you do get to sleep in an extra hour that one day, it doesn’t mean that you get to sleep an extra hour every night.  In fact, many people experience sleep problems and feel tired or groggy for days or weeks after a time change.  The average number of days for experiencing problems with sleep is 5 days in the fall and 7 days in the spring.

Prepare for the Change

When the clocks change in the fall, many people just assume that they can change their clock before bed on Saturday and do nothing else.  For a better result, try these tips in the week after time change.

  • A week before time change, go to bed 10 minutes earlier than normal
  • The following night, go to bed 10 minutes earlier than that
  • Continue this pattern for the week
  • By the end of the week, your body will be able to handle the transition smoother

By taking smaller increments to change sleep, the body is not as adversely affected.

Don’t Use Artificial Light

Our body is controlled by the circadian clock.  This internal clock is affected by light and dark.  It is very important that the light is diminished before sleep to increase the hormone melatonin.  Melatonin induces sleep.

At the beginning of the day, expose yourself to bright light.  Morning light is the best way to help the body’s internal clock adjust to the new time. 

Naps

Who doesn’t love a nap?  When the body is tired and a person gets still, especially after a sleep schedule that is off, a long nap can seem like the right thing to do.  However, this could actually be the worst thing a person can do if they want to get back on a regular sleep schedule.

Sleep pressure is the likelihood of how sleepy a person is going to be during the day.  The best time to have maximum sleep pressure is at the end of the day.  However, a nap decreases that pressure and makes it harder for a person to fall asleep at the correct time.      

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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