Sleep Tips to Adjust to Daylight Savings Time

 A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that one out of four American adults don't receive even the minimum amount of sleep they need to feel fully alert the next day and Lee Brown, M.D., director of the UNM Sleep Disorders Center says that those problems can be made worst as the nation returns to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, April 3. 

How can people adjust as the clock "springs forward" and we all lose an hour of sleep?  First and foremost, says Brown plan to sleep in on that Sunday morning, instead of losing an hour.  "It is important to remember sleep is a necessity, not a luxury," said Brown.  "Nighttime sleep affects your daily life, your mood, behavior and performance.  So, don't cheat on your sleep."

National Sleep Awareness Week, sponsored by the NSF, takes place during the days leading up to Daylight Saving Time (March 28-April 3) and is a good time for New Mexicans to evaluate the amount of sleep they usually get and to make a commitment to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night during that week.

Other tips to help adjust to the return to Daylight Saving Time: 

•           Try to sleep a bit more than usual a few nights prior to and immediately following the time change to help reduce any sleep debt you may be carrying.

•           Take a nap in the afternoon on Sunday if you need it but not within a few hours of your regular bedtime.  Remember, napping too close to bedtime can disrupt nighttime sleep.

•           National Sleep Awareness Week is also a good time to learn more about sleep problems and how to recognize them in yourself and family members.  Frequent problems sleeping or daytime sleepiness can signal a sleep disorder that usually can be treated. Talk to your doctor.

For more information o on the Sleep Disorders Clinic, call UNM Sleep Disorders Center at 272-6110.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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