Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at 2 a.m. Many people look forward to this opportunity each fall to set their clocks back one hour (i.e., “fall back”) to gain an additional hour of sleep.
Getting an extra hour of sleep on a Saturday night is a nice benefit to the time change. But the care team at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Sleep Disorders Center encourages people to use this time change to recognize how they feel when they wake up, feeling more refreshed and alert with the extra hour of sleep, which hopefully motivates people to prioritize their sleep to optimize their health.
According to American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle along with nutrition and exercise. Healthy sleep is essential to your physical health and mental health, improves your memory and focus, and promotes personal and public safety.
Adults, on average, need seven or more hours of sleep each night. Children need eight to ten or more depending on their age. Sleep is just as important as the air you breathe.
Here are some recommended sleep tips to get a good night’s sleep.
• Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
• Limit the use of electronics one hour prior to bed to prepare bodies and brains for sleep.
• Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
• Avoid watching TV in the bedroom prior to sleep.
• Avoid using devices that emit light – smart phones, tablets and computers, etc. Blue light emitted by these devices resets the clock in the brain which can delay sleep.
• Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
If tips like these are not helping you feel fully refreshed in the mornings, it could be a sign of a sleep disorder. There are approximately 80 different types of sleep disorders and sometimes the cause has nothing to do with actual lack of sleep.
If you have concerns about sleep patterns, or difficulties falling or staying asleep, talk to your primary care physician to request a referral to HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Sleep Disorders Center. Overnight and day-time sleep studies are performed in a hotel-like setting at 791 Wall Street (behind UrgiCare) in O’Fallon.
For more information about healthy sleep habits or sleep disorders, visit cdc.gov/sleep.