Wednesday, March 6 2013, 04:19 PM EST
Parkridge Sleep Center Offers Tips for Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time will take effect again Sunday (March 10), bringing with more daylight in the afternoons many of us crave during the winter months - but this change is frequently cited as one that wreaks havoc with sleep patterns. However, with the right preparation, the impact of this time change can be minimized.
So, just how important is sleep?
“Lack of quality rest can put a person at increased risk for illness or weight gain,” notes Dr. Harsha Shantha, physician and medical director of the Parkridge Sleep Center.
He notes that there are also other, more serious consequences to a lack of sleep.
“Sleep loss has been linked to chronic health issues and life-threatening diseases ranging from diabetes and high blood pressure to heart disease, depression, and anxiety disorders.”
To make sure that Spring Forward doesn’t take a toll on you, resist the urge to drastically increase your activity level, and make an effort to stick to your pre-time change schedule at first.
“With light later in the day, many people feel that there is suddenly more time to do things, and their sleep schedules suffer as a result,” says Dr. Vincent Viscomi, with the Parkridge Sleep Center. “Those with packed schedules often feel they can cut out sleep and ‘catch up’ on the weekend. However, there is no way to recoup lost sleep – it needs to be treated not as a luxury or an expendable function but a vital part of overall well being.”
Physicians emphasize that habits such as healthy eating, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, drinking a lot of water and remaining physically active can make it easier to rest soundly.