Article: Daylight Savings Time--Prepare for Sleep

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by TwoCatDoctors, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Daylight Saving Time: 8 Tips to Prepare
    Sleep Doctors Offer Advice on How to Spring Forward to Daylight Saving Time
    By Miranda Hitti
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Daylight saving time will push your clock ahead from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. on March 14, 2010. And you won't "fall back" until Nov. 7.

    Dread the thought of getting even less sleep than you do now? Don't burrow under the covers. A little prep work in the days leading up to daylight saving time might make the transition easier.

    Here are eight tips from sleep medicine doctors on getting ready for daylight saving time:

    * Give yourself (and your kids) a jump start. Move up your bedtime and wake time, little by little, in the days leading up to daylight saving time, so you're already adjusted when the time changes. For instance, shave 10 minutes off in the six nights before the time change, or 15 minutes per night in the four nights before daylight saving time starts. "Go to bed earlier and get up earlier ... to train your nervous system," says Nicholas Rummo, MD, director of the Center for Sleep at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. Rummo recommends the same strategy for children. "Get them to bed a little earlier the week before" daylight saving time, Rummo says.

    * See the light -- early. Expose yourself to light -- ideally, sunlight -- as early as you can. That can help reset your body's internal clock. Have breakfast in front of a window, Rummo suggests. Get out in the sunlight and walk outdoors, adds Charles Pollak, MD, director of sleep medicine at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

    * Avoid evening light. Daylight saving time will shift your bedtime an hour earlier than you're used to, so keep your evenings dark.

    * Watch your exercise time. Get your daily physical activity before 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., because exercise late in the day "will tend to delay sleep time," Rummo says.

    * If you take melatonin, do so early. Melatonin is a hormone made by the body to help regulate the body's internal clock; it's also sold as supplements. Pollak tells WebMD that melatonin is "tricky to use" and should be taken four to five hours before bedtime in an appropriate dose to be effective.

    * Don't nap. Napping might undercut your efforts to get to sleep on time, Rummo notes.

    * Give it time. Adjusting to daylight saving time generally takes "only a day or two," Pollak says. "It's just one hour, after all." Pollak says "owls" who stay up late may have more trouble with the time shift because the time change is "opposite to their tendency." His advice to those people is the same as for everyone else -- expose yourself to bright light in the morning, even if it goes against the grain.

    * If all else fails ... "Caffeine, in moderation, has its place," Rummo says.

  2. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Thanks so much. I did not know that we "spring ahead" this weekend. I thought it was the last weekend of March!!!!

    Have we ever changed time in the middle of the month?

    I have been using a light box and it has helped. Now that I have been consistently using it for four weeks I have been getting up much earlier. However, it did take about three weeks to really start seeing a change but I had a virus which may have interfered with that.

    I went to my sleep doctor yesterday and he wants me to continue the light therapy for thirty minutes per day. I just hope this keeps working as sometimes things will work on me for a while and then stop being so effective.

    Tomorrow morning, light box one hour earlier!!

    Once again a great post!!

  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Here in Arizona, we don't change time, so it doesn't impact me but I remember when I lived in other states and wished I had read this article back then. When I saw this article with ways to start ahead of time to help prepare for the time change, I just had to post and hoped that many would check it out and perhaps try some of the suggestions. (Gee, I just love info!!)