Healthy Sleep: Get the Jump on Daylight Savings
03/11/2010

CLEBURNE, Texas — An hour’s sleep doesn’t seem like much to lose. But over time, its affects can add up. A sleep problem lasting longer than 30 days could mean you’ve joined the ranks of millions already suffering from sleep disorders.

“A sleep deficit shouldn’t be considered merely a nuisance that makes people feel bad,” said Kevin Sullivan, cardiopulmonary manager at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne. “Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, chronic sleep problems caused by a sleep disorder or poor sleep hygiene affect an estimated 70 million Americans. When Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 14, at 2 a.m., and the clocks “spring” forward one hour, many people may have trouble adjusting to a new sleep schedule.

National Sleep Awareness week, an annual public education and awareness campaign to promote the importance of sleep, takes place the week before Daylight Savings Time has these recommendations:

Adults:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
  • Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music.
  • Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime.

Adolescents/Young Adults:

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch.
  • Avoid bright light in the evening.
  • Avoid arousing activities around bedtime, such as heavy study, text messaging and prolonged conversations.
  • Expose yourself to bright light upon awakening in the morning.
  • While sleeping in on weekends is permissible, it should not be more than 2–3 hours past your usual wake time, to avoid disrupting your circadian rhythm governing sleepiness and wakefulness.
  • Avoid pulling an “all-nighter” to study.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics and gastroenterology. Texas Health Cleburne, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized with the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Cleburne.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.