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Treatment and Care for Sleep Disorders
How to Deal with Daylight Saving Time Change

Here are some time-tested tips for dealing with the time change:

Start early on the time change.
The time change is usually scheduled for the EARLY hours of Sunday morning. To give yourself more time to adjust before the workweek begins, reset one of your clocks at the start of the weekend, such as Friday night or Saturday morning. Try to eat meals, sleep, and wake according to that clock. When Monday comes, you'll be on your way to feeling adjusted. However, if you have activities and events during the weekend, make sure you don't get confused about the correct time!

Plan to Exercise that weekend.
Working out releases serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps our bodies adjust. Exercise regularly, preferably outdoors, and early in the day. A brisk morning walk is perfect. Avoid exercising too late in the evening though, this could interfere with the quality of your sleep.

Always Nap wisely.
Try to resist the urge to take long naps late in the day. If you get tired, take a short, energizing walk around the block instead. If you must nap, keep it earlier in the day and limit your snooze time to no more than 20 minutes.

Don't drink alcohol.
Alcohol interferes with normal sleep cycles, so don't rely on a nightcap to fall asleep.

Make sure you have time to Digest.
After the time changes, you may be hungry for meals earlier or later than before. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to digest your dinner before heading off to bed. A heavy meal in your stomach will interfere with the quality of your sleep and it's not a good idea.

Let the Sun In.
The right combination of light and dark can help your body's circadian rhythm readjust so you can fall asleep on your new schedule and sleep more soundly. In the morning, open the shades and brighten the lights. Try to spend time outside during the day, if possible. Dim the lights in the evening, so that your body understands that it's time to wind down.

Shahriar Shahzeidi, M.D. FAAP, FCCP, FAASM
Medical Director
Pediatrician-in-Chief
Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians
Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
AASP
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GHI In the News
Washington Post / Shahzeidi, GHI
Miami Herald Article

Related Links
• National Sleep Foundation - Website
• American Academy of Sleep Medicine - Website
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