Make the Most of This Weekend's Time Change

Sleep expert offers tips on how to adjust as clocks fall back an hour on Sunday

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FRIDAY, Oct. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A few simple steps can help make this weekend's time change easier to cope with, a sleep expert says.

"Adjusting to the end of Daylight Saving Time in the fall is a bit easier than handling the time change in the spring. The main reason is because we gain an hour of sleep for the fall time change," Dr. Praveen Rudraraju, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., said in a hospital news release.

The first few days after the time change can be difficult because the sun sets close to 5 p.m., which means it will be dark when many people leave work. Try to take advantage of the early sun in the morning to boost your mood, Rudraraju suggested.

Those most likely to have difficulty adjusting to the time change are short sleepers and early risers, because they're less likely to be able to take advantage of the extra hour of sleep this weekend.

If you're one of these people, delay your bed time by an hour so that you'll wake up at your regular time, Rudraraju advised.

Some people make take up to one week to get used to the time change, he noted.

If you have a young child who wakes up at 6 a.m., try to put the youngster to bed 15 minutes later each day starting a few days before the time change. If you don't make this gradual adjustment, the child is likely to wake up at 5 a.m. when the clock changes, Rudraraju noted.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about sleep.

SOURCE: Northern Westchester Hospital, news release, Oct. 29, 2014


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