Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Back Into Standard Time with an Extra Hour of Sleep

An article on WomensHealth.gov explains that when you turn your clocks back an hour this weekend, it might be a good opportunity to think about whether you're getting enough sleep.

The switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time officially occurs at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, and it moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning.

While you'll appreciate the extra hour of sleep you gain by returning to Standard Time, it won't be enough to eliminate any major sleep debt you may have accumulated due to a hectic lifestyle, experts say.

Chronic sleep deprivation can affect attention levels, reaction time and mood, leading to decreased productivity at work, increased family stress, and potential health problems, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

"People tend to ignore the need for sleep in order to get other things done, but sleep is as important as what you eat, how much you exercise, and other healthy lifestyle practices," says Dr. Nancy A. Collop, director of the Emory Sleep Center and president-elect of the AASM.

"It's important to acknowledge the role that sleep plays in our daily lives, and recognize that how we feel, think and perform is all dictated by the amount of sleep we get."

The amount of sleep needed for good health and optimum daytime performance varies by age: preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours a night; school-age children should get 10 to 11 hours; teens must have at least nine hours; and adults should get seven to eight hours each night.

The AASM offers these tips for a good night's sleep:

•Don't exercise or have caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or heavy meals close to bedtime.
•It's fine to eat a small snack before bedtime to avoid going to sleep hungry.
•Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
•Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool.
•Don't sleep in on the weekends. That just makes it harder to wake up on Monday.

Read more at USA Today or check out this video by myFOXdetroit:

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Disclaimer

The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.