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Sleep health important during daylight saving time

Published 10:05am Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring ahead.

It’s what we do every year when we advance our clocks one hour for daylight saving time, which is at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 10. National Sleep Awareness Week is from March 3 to 10.

To help your body clock adjust, Steve Kubas, M.D., sleep specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System advocates:

• In the days leading up to the time change, go to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier each night.

• After the time change happens, try to get exposure to strong light in the morning.

“Sleep is an essential requirement for our health, but we often shortchange ourselves,” says Kubas, who sees patients in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna.

“Make a commitment to get at least eight hours of quality sleep each night, and you will function better and stay healthier.”

Remember to practice good “sleep hygiene”:

• Reduce stimuli at bedtime.

• Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark.

• Maintain consistent sleep/wake patterns.

• Follow a bedtime routine.

“If people still struggle with the time change or feeling rested, it might be the sign of a sleep disorder,” says Kubas.

A free educational seminar on good “sleep hygiene” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11 at the Hormel Historic Home, 208 4th Ave. NW, Austin. Join Dr. Kubas and other members from Albert Lea and Austin’s Sleep Medicine departments and Mayo Clinic Stores for an informative discussion on healthy sleep practices; common sleep disorders including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and insomnia; the sleep study process; and the variety of treatments available for sleep apnea.

To register or for more information, call 507-377-6417.

More than 50 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems, and most are undiagnosed.

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