On March 11, spring forward without losing sleepHouston, TX - 3/5/2012
The return of daylight saving time and losing an hour of sleep causes most to cringe at the thought. According to Aparajitha Verma, M.D., medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, “springing forward” affects the sleep patterns of more than 70 million Americans. She offers some tips about how to practice good sleep hygiene before March 11 rolls around.
According to Verma, the average person takes three to four days to adjust to the time change, so preparing for the change will allow for better sleep habits. Get up an hour earlier and go to sleep an hour earlier. Take a nap in the afternoon on Sunday if needed, but not within a few hours of bedtime. Napping too close to bedtime can disrupt nighttime sleep.
Disrupted sleep patterns can also lead to more serious health and lifestyle issues. If sleep does not come within 30 minutes of lying down, if there is excessive daytime sleepiness, or if sleeping for seven or more hours is not enough, there might be a more serious sleeping disorder happening. People with these symptoms should consider an overnight sleep study at a center that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, such as the sleep center at Methodist.
Good “sleep hygiene” can be simply achieved by following year round tips including:
To read more sleep tips or to learn more about Methodist’s Sleep Disorders Center, go to our website or call 713-790-3333.