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7 Ways to Prepare for Daylight Saving Time
Health & Wellness

7 Ways to Prepare for Daylight Saving Time

March 04, 2022

Spring is just ahead! On Sunday, March 13, at 2 a.m., we “spring forward” one hour. We all look forward to having an extra hour of daylight, but not to losing an hour of sleep!

Our cell phones change automatically, but not our bodies. The change can throw off your internal clock. It can leave some people feeling groggy and irritable. In a nation that is already sleep-deprived, losing an hour of sleep can have a huge impact. Studies have found that both heart attacks and fatal car accidents increase in the spring right after the time shift.

How to Adjust to Daylight Savings

Adjusting is different for everybody. Some adjust in just a few days, but for others, it may take more time. Children seem to have a harder time than adults. Below are some tips that can help make that transition easier:

  • Start preparing a few days early. About a week before the time change, it is recommended that you start going to bed about 15-30 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime.
  • Stick to your schedule. Be consistent with your eating, social, bed and exercise times during the transition. Allow for at least 7 hours of sleep. It’s tempting to sleep in on the weekends to “catch up” but the closer you stick to your normal schedule, the faster your body will adjust.
  • Try to expose yourself to bright light in the morning. Go for a walk in the sunshine or try using a light therapy box. This will help reset your internal clock and improve your mood.
  • You may feel tired but resist the urge to take long naps. If you must nap, take it early in the day and keep it short. No longer than 20 minutes.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol for up to six hours before bedtime. Alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker, but it can inhibit you from getting quality sleep.
  • Before bed, slow your body down. Put your phone, computer, or tablet away and turn off the TV. Light from electronics can stimulate your brain and hinder melatonin (a hormone that triggers sleepiness) production.
  • Finally, use your bed only for sleeping. Your mind adjusts to the habit of getting into bed for sleep.

If you are having difficulty sleeping, talk to your primary care provider. Altru’s Sleep Center team may be able to help you, for more information call 701.780.5484 or visit our website.

Altru Sleep Center

Altru Sleep Center is home to an American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) accredited six-bed center in Grand Forks and a two-bed center in Devils Lake. These facilities offer sleep studies featuring the latest technology, expertise from registered polysomnography and respiratory therapists, and state-of-the-art equipment. Altru Sleep Center provides comprehensive clinical evaluations and treatment to patients with a variety of sleep-related disorders.

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