Six Strategies to Help with Sleep Disruptions Now that Daylight Savings is Over

Industry: Health & Fitness

Intermountain Healthcare sleep experts say mental and physical challenges of time change can be overcome

Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) November 7th, 2022

Daylight savings is over once again, and that means setting the clock back an hour. Just an hour difference can cause disruptions in sleep, which can lead to both mental and physical challenges.

Fortunately, these challenges tend to be temporary. Kevin Walker, MD. Medical director of Intermountain Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center said there are actually strategies that individuals can use to cope with the time change and the disruptions in sleep schedules.

  1. Listen to and follow body cues. “Our internal clocks govern many biological functions including our sleep and wake cycles,” said Dr. Walker. “Resist the urge to force your body into a new schedule. When you feel tired, go to bed. If your bedtime was at 10 p.m. before the time change and you feel tired at 9, turn out the lights and crawl into bed at 9. As you make the transition from daylight savings time your body will prompt you when it needs rest.”
  2. When it’s bedtime, turn off ALL lights, including the television, phone, and computer screens. Melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is inhibited by light, but as night falls it circulates more widely, which causes people to feel drowsy. “Small amounts of light can disrupt our sleep-wake cycle, so don’t underestimate the impact the lights from electronics have on your ability to sleep well,” Dr. Walker said.
  3. If individuals find their body is still on the daylight savings time schedule and find they are waking up an hour earlier than needed, they should get up anyway. “Treat yourself to some exercise before you get ready for work,” said Dr. Walker. “It will not only energize you, but it’s a great way to start your day.”
  4. People should get up as soon as they hear the alarm. “It can be tempting to stay under the warm covers, but don’t hit the snooze button and subject yourself to the stress of anticipating the next time the alarm will go off,” said Dr. Walker.
  5. Flip on the bedroom lamp when it’s time to get out of bed. That signals your brain it’s time to wake up. “The timing of our internal body clocks is influenced by light, which causes melatonin production to slow,” said Dr. Walker. “When you expose yourself to light after you wake up, your body will know sleep time is over.”
  6. Be sure to eat a good breakfast. “It really is the most important meal of the day,” said Dr. Walker “Breakfast can provide you with lasting energy and breaking your night-long fast with a nutritious breakfast will help wake up your body and mind.”

“Nothing starts your day off better than a good night’s sleep,” said Dr. Walker. “As you transition away from daylight savings time, give these survival strategies a try and help your body adjust to the change.”

Kevin Walker, MD, is a sleep medicine expert with Intermountain Medical Group, practicing at Intermountain Sleep Disorder Centers in Utah.

About Intermountain Healthcare

Headquartered in Utah with locations in eight states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information and updates, click here

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