time to change

ALTON – It’s that time of year again when it’s time to leap forward.

The Daylight Saving Time (DST) change begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, and it is recommended that people start early to adjust to the one-hour time change. In the spring, daylight saving time allows an extra hour in a 24-hour period; in the fall, people lose an hour in a 24-hour period.

Adults 18 and older need about seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults 65 and older need seven to eight hours, so the difference is only one hour according to the CDC.


March is National Sleep Awareness Month and coincides with the spring daylight saving time. What difference does an hour make whether it leaps forward or goes backward?

“With daylight saving time, there’s a circadian disruption due to a change in the amount of light exposure we get,” said Leah Knabe of OSF Saint Anthony Health Center, a registered nurse in practice. advanced medical group OSF HealthCare of Alton – Sleep Medicine and Respirology who was born and raised in Jerseyville. “This leads to a variety of health issues, such as mood disturbances and sleep disturbances.”

Dr. Puja Gurung, a specialist in sleep medicine and pediatric sleep medicine at BJC Medical Group Sleep Medicine in Alton, agreed and explained in more detail.

“We find that acute health effects occur in the spring when we switch from standard time to daylight saving time,” Gurung said.

“Circadian misalignment due to sleep loss or sleep debt is also observed. Some health effects include increased heart attacks, strokes, and atrial defibrillation, as well as missed medical appointments. “We are seeing more ER visits and return visits to hospitals. More traffic accidents, including fatalities (6%), are seen in the United States”

Certainly, as people age, they need less sleep.

“A newborn baby can sleep up to 18 to 19 hours a day,” Gurung said, “while someone over 65 only needs about seven to eight hours of sleep.”

That’s a lot of sleep for kids that isn’t needed once people hit 18, with only one to two hours of extra sleep recommended until age 65.

“People spend more time being awake at night as we get older,” Gurung said. “For the pediatric age group, it depends on whether your child is a newborn, infant, toddler, etc.”

Knabe said the best way to prepare for daylight saving time is to start going to bed about 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual a week before daylight saving time.

“Make sure you get adequate daylight and avoid long daytime naps,” she noted. “Eliminate caffeine and alcohol intake at least four to six hours before bedtime. And initiate good sleep hygiene practices.

Here are some quick sleep hygiene tips that can be used for successful sleep:

• Give enough time not to feel the drastic effect of a one hour difference in 24 hours.

• Minimize naps.

• Go to bed when you are sleepy.

• Avoid eating two hours before sleeping.

• To be coherent. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning, including weekends.

• Create a comfortable bedroom environment. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable or slightly cooler temperature.

• Remove electronic devices, such as televisions, computers and smartphones, from the bedroom.

• If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and participate in relaxing activities (not related to screen time) and return to bed when sleepy.

• Practice rituals, such as taking a hot bath, drinking hot tea, journaling, or meditating before bed.

• Exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

“Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the general population, and one we see often in our practice,” Knabe said.
“It can be chronic, meaning it persists for at least three months, or acute, lasting only a few days to a few weeks.

“Either way, insomnia can be detrimental to your mental and physical health and should be discussed with your practitioner.”

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, shorter sleep duration is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular abnormalities and an increased body mass index.

“Those with longer sleep durations were found to be healthier,” Knabe said. “As we age, our sleep duration requirements decrease due to a change in developmental milestones.”

Knabe suggested keeping a sleep diary for one to two weeks, either in preparation for daylight saving time or an appointment with a doctor for insomnia.

“A sleep diary will help you and your doctor better understand your sleep patterns and schedule,” she said. “Starting your night with good sleep hygiene with a nighttime routine is a good way to set yourself up for successful sleep.”

Knabe said if chronic insomnia begins to impact daytime functions or sleep quality, it’s likely that further intervention is needed by a doctor.

“A few risk factors for insomnia are increasing age, shift work, female sex work, and substance use,” she said.

She also noted that sleep quality is just as important as sleep duration.

“Signs of poor sleep quality include waking up frequently during the night, not feeling well rested upon waking, and snoring,” Knabe said. “If someone has any of these symptoms, they should be evaluated for a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, which can lead to poor sleep quality.”

About Anne Wurtsbach

Check Also

DEP seeks input on plan to improve equal access to public education

State officials want people to give their input on the action plan to reform New …