Genesis sleep experts provide tips for return of Daylight Savings Time

Posted Online: March 10, 2011, 11:17 am
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Submitted press release.

DAVENPORT -- Genesis Medical Center sleep experts have useful tips to prevent losing an hour of sleep when the clocks "spring forward'' to Central Daylight Time this weekend.

Many people who already have sleep disorders or sleep difficulties may suffer the consequences of an additional hour of lost shut-eye.

Studies show that sleep deprivation has dangerous consequences, ranging from decreased cognitive function to falling asleep at the wheel when driving. Sleep deprivation has been associated with hormonal and metabolic changes that mimic the effects of aging, as well as an increasing the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Lack of sleep also makes us less alert, more irritable and more prone to accidents and injuries at home and at work. Shift workers face additional problems, including higher levels of daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and more incidents of drowsy driving.

"If you are well rested, the effects of the potential loss of an hour of sleep will probably be minimal," said Stephen Rasmus, M.D., Neurologist with Neurology Consultants, P.C. and Medical Director of the sleep disorders center at Genesis Medical Center. "However, if you are already sleep deprived, the hour can make a difference in the way you feel and in the way you behave."

To reduce your sleep deprivation and to minimize the effects of potential sleep loss associated with the return of Central Daylight Time, Dr. Rasmus and Akshay Mahadevia, M.D., medical director of the sleep center at Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus offer these tips:

*Try to sleep more than usual prior to and immediately following the time change.

*Take a nap in the middle of the afternoon if you need it, but not within a few hours of your regular bedtime. Napping too close to bedtime can disrupt nighttime sleep.

*Determine what you feel is the amount of sleep you need each night to be fully alert, and not sleepy, the next day. Make sure you get at least your minimum sleep requirement each night, if not more. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

*Keep a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking at the same time each morning, even on weekends.

*Avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening.

*Avoid nicotine and alcohol before bedtime; both can interrupt sleep.

*Don't eat or drink too much before bedtime.

*Engage in a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath or reading a few pages of a book.

*Create a sleep-promoting environment that is cool, quiet, dark and comfortable.

For more information on sleep services provided by the Genesis Medical Center centers at Davenport, DeWitt and Silvis, call (563) 421-1525 or go to Sleep studies are also available at Mercer County Hospital in Aledo.


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