How to reset your sleep habits
Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 1 at 2 a.m. Many people look forward to setting their clocks back one hour and gaining an additional hour of sleep, but that extra snooze time isn’t all that’s important as the seasons change.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
(AASM), sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle along with good nutrition and exercise.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital sleep lab manager, Kelly Schmidt encourages people to use the time change to get in touch with their inner clock; recognizing how they feel when they wake up - more refreshed and alert, which hopefully motivates them to prioritize sleep as part of good overall health.
“Adults, on average, need seven to eight hours of sleep each night,” she said. “Children need eight to ten hours, depending on their age. Sleep is just as important as the air you breathe because it resets your brain and prepares you for the waking hours.
Schmidt said adequate sleep is essential to not only your physical health but also your emotional and mental health, as well as providing improved memory and focus. She also suggests the following sleep tips:
• Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends
• Stop using electronics one hour before bed; blue light emitted by these devices “resets” the clock in the brain which can delay sleep
• Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed
• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature
• Avoid watching TV in the bedroom before sleep
• Get exercise on a regular basis; physical activity during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night
If your sleep is restless, you don’t feel refreshed in the morning or you have a hard time concentrating multiple days in a row, Schmidt said it could be a sign of a sleep disorder. “There are more than 80 types of sleep disorders and sometimes the cause has nothing to do with actual lack of sleep.”
You can learn more about sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea by visiting the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Sleep Disorders Center
or calling (715) 717-4933.
For more information about health sleep habits, visit www.cdc.gov.