Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 1 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. HSHS St. John’s Hospital 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.
Connie Enlow, polysomnographic technologist at St. John’s, said, “On average. adults need seven or more hours of sleep each night, and children need eight to 10 hours or more depending on their age. We need to remember that sleep is just as important to our bodies as the air we breathe,” she said.
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 before 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 before sleep.
- Avoid using devices that emit light – smartphones, 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 these tips 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. John's Sleep Center.
Learn more about St. John’s Sleep Center’s services by visiting here or call 217-757-6ZZZ (6999). For more information about healthy sleep habits or sleep disorders, visit cdc.gov/sleep.