As Sunday, November 7 approaches, it’s important to begin preparing yourself and kids for the return to Standard Time. Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November, which means most of the country will turn clocks back one hour.
Adults should get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in three adults does not get that much sleep on a regular basis, which negatively affects cognitive performance and physical health.
Lacey Jennings, clinical coordinator for the HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Sleep Medicine Center says you should wake up and go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier in the days leading up to the time change to prepare yourself. This allows your body and brain to adjust slowly rather than in just one night. It’s also important to stay in a bedtime and wake time routine after the clocks fall back because it helps the brain prepare for sleep.
Jennings also says light is a big environmental factor in your quality of sleep.
“In the winter it gets darker earlier which may make our bodies tired earlier,” she says. “Try to get a little extra sunlight during the daytime hours to make the adjustment a bit easier on your internal clock.”
Other tips to achieve quality sleep include:
- Limit the use of electronics one hour prior to bed to prepare your body and brain for sleep
- Do not go to bed hungry; eat a light, healthy snack at least 30 minutes before bed if necessary
- Keep the bedroom temperature cooler than the rest of the house, if possible
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and exercise close to bedtime
Most of the United States will “spring ahead” again when Daylight Saving Time begins the second Sunday in March 2022.
If you have concerns about sleep patterns, or difficulties falling or staying asleep, contact the St. Mary’s Sleep Medicine Center at 217-464-2847 or contact your primary care provider.