PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’ll be losing an hour of sleep Saturday night when we turn the clocks back an hour with the start of Daylight Saving Time. A local sleep specialist spoke about some ways to ease the transition.
Dr. Karl Doghramji, Medical Director of Jefferson’s Sleep Disorders Center, says although we change our clocks twice a year, this is the tougher time change.
“Because it’s more difficult to phase-advance, or to change to an earlier time, one’s biological rhythm, than it is to delay,” he said.
It’s especially hard on those who are predisposed to staying up late — night owls, and teenagers — as well as on the elderly, shift workers, and folks with chronic illnesses.
But over the next few days, you can help yourself adjust by practicing what’s called “good sleep hygiene.”
“We should make sure that our evenings are as dimly lit as possible, that is, in the hour or two before we go to bed,” said Dr. Doghramji.
That means turning off TVs and cell phones, and keeping the environment as quiet as possible, as well as keeping to a regular schedule.
And in the morning, expose yourself to sunlight or bright artificial light, Doghramji says, “to make sure our biological rhythms become activated towards the daytime periods as soon as we wake up.”
According to Doghramji, most people adapt fairly successfully within a day or two, while others may take up to a week to make the adjustment.
He says that if you’ve followed the recommendations and are still feeling sleepy and having trouble adapting to the time change, contact your physician, and perhaps even seek the advice of a sleep disorder specialist.