March 13, 2023

Lessening the effects of daylight saving time change

Editor's Note

Disrupted sleep rhythms because of the daylight saving time change can throw people off schedule, leading to cumulative sleep loss, the March 9 reports.

Studies have shown there is a higher risk of strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, automobile accidents, workplace injuries, and mental health issues associated with sleep deprivation. Students also find it harder to get to school on time and may have difficulties with attention, school performance, or worsening mental health problems.

To lessen the effects, the authors, who lead a sleep evaluation center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, recommend the following:

  • Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, especially leading up to the time change
  • Going to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier the week before
  • Trying an earlier wake time with exposure to bright light
  • Participating in relaxing activities the evening before the time change
  • Incorporating exercise in the morning or early in the day
  • Eating a protein-heavy breakfast because sleep deprivation can increase cravings for high-carbohydrate foods and sugars
  • Being especially patient with children as they adjust to the new time.

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