16th Annual National Sleep Awareness Week® Means Daylight Saving Time is Coming
March 6, 2013
National Sleep Foundation Reminds Everyone to Get A Good Night’s Sleep When Clocks Move Forward An Hour
ARLINGTON, VA (March 6th, 2013) – The annual ritual is almost upon us. Daylight Saving Time returns at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, March 10, when people throughout the country move their clocks ahead one hour, and too many of them end up being sleepy for the next few days because of an hour of lost sleep.
But according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), changing the clocks shouldn’t mean losing an hour of sleep.
“The Sunday that marks the return of Daylight Saving Time is a shorter day. Make it a shorter day with fewer activities, not a shorter morning with less sleep,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. The effect of that lost hour of sleep may be felt for several days the following week. In fact, one study shows that many people will sleep an average of 40 minutes less the night after they change their clocks.
The remedy can be a simple one, Cloud says. “Give yourself a treat and sleep in that Sunday morning.” If that isn’t possible, Cloud suggests taking a short 20-30 minute nap Sunday afternoon, though not close to bed time, which can disrupt nighttime sleep. You can also try to sleep more than usual a few nights prior to and immediately following the time change.
The return to Daylight Saving Time coincides with the final day of National Sleep Awareness Week, NSF’s annual campaign to celebrate the health benefits of sleep. This year’s 16th annual campaign, March 3-10, is highlighted by the release of NSF’s Sleep in America® poll that explores the relationship between exercise and sleep, showing a compelling positive association between the two.
In addition to the tips offered for the arrival of Daylight Saving Time, NSF offers the following advice for a good night’s sleep every night:
- Exercise regularly. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise like walking is better than no activity.
- Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
- Use bright light to help manage your “body clock.” Avoid bright light as bedtime approaches, but expose yourself to sunlight or other bright light as your day begins
- Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
- Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
- Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
- If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or “stop breathing” episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening.
The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving sleep health and safety through education, public awareness, and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America® poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Arlington, VA. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities throughout North America.
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