Avoid Daylight Saving Time Grogginess

Daylight Saving Time begins on March 8. Don’t forget to spring ahead! In most areas of the country, Baby with motherDaylight Saving Time is a welcome sign that spring is on its way. But for some people—many of them seniors—making that one hour switch can disrupt sleep for several days. Dr. Praveen Rudraraju, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., offered these tips for coping with the loss of an hour’s sleep when Daylight Saving Time begins:

  • In the days leading up to Daylight Saving Time, go to bed 5–10 minutes earlier every 2–3 days.
  • Get up 5–10 minutes earlier every 2–3 days in the same period.
  • Exercise 30–40 minutes in bright light before 5:00 p.m. every day.
  • Don’t consume coffee and other caffeinated beverages after noon.
  • Limit alcohol to one drink with dinner.
  • Avoid computer work one hour before bedtime. Relax with reading or quiet music one hour before bedtime.
  • Stay out of the bedroom until bedtime.
  • Do not work in the bedroom if at all possible.

Dr. Rudraraju also suggests eating foods that may promote better sleep, including warm milk, bananas, nuts, and carbohydrates such as crackers and bread. Avoid foods that are high in fat and protein.

Source: IlluminAge AgeWise reporting on information from the Center for Sleep Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital.


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