It’s that time of year again to turn the clocks forward! Daylight Savings Time takes place at 2 a.m. central standard time on Sunday, March 11. While most Americans will feel only slightly sluggish from the lost hour of sleep, a significant number of people will experience disruptions in normal sleep patterns as a result of the time change, which can affect performance and safety.
According to Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, director of Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center and the associate director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, many people mistakenly assume that the only consequence of sleep deprivation is a feeling of drowsiness. Other consequences can include difficulty focusing, irritability and more seriously, drowsy driving.
If you have difficulty sleeping, Zee recommends talking with your doctor. Trouble sleeping can be a sign of a sleep, medical or psychiatric disorder that with proper treatment can improve.
The number of hours needed for sleep depends on individual factors and can range from seven to nine hours. Many Americans’ standard work schedules now average nine to 10 hours, and the day’s challenges and stresses may make falling asleep quickly difficult. “The 24-7 culture that we all live in makes it difficult to transition from waking to sleeping hours, since cell phones, e-mail and computers are always at our fingertips,” said Zee.
For more information on proper sleep habits to help you this weekend and throughout the year, read the full story.