Coping with Daylight Savings Time

We survived another â??Spring Forwardâ?? with daylight savings time. Weâ??ve heard a lot of people complaining, are there any real medical implications in Daylight Savings Time? Dr. Justin Puckett breaks it down for us.

  • Yes, there are medical implications of just losing one hour of sleep; it isnâ??t just in your head.

  • Studies have been done and have shown an increase in accidents immediately following an adjustment in the clock, especially if one is sleep deprived.

  • Over half of all Americans suffer from some sort of a sleep disorder.

  • Is Daytime Savings the only time this is an issue?

  • No. Anytime one has to shift their schedule, such as traveling across time zones, requires the same planning

  • Well, are there some things that we could have done, or still can do, to help make this adjustment as painless as possible?

    · For the two weeks before the time change, get up five to 10 minutes earlier every two to three days, and go to sleep a few minutes earlier as well.

    · Exercise 30 to 40 minutes in bright light (before 5 p.m.) daily.

    · Eat at least three to five hours before you go to bed.

    · Don't drink caffeinated beverages after noon.

    · Limit alcohol to one drink with dinner and do not have alcohol after dinner.

    · Don't do any computer work during the hour before bedtime. Instead, relax by reading, listening to quiet music or watching TV.

    · Stay out of your bedroom until bedtime. If possible, do not work in your bedroom.

    What about for children, any issues there?

  • Because it stays light longer after the change to daylight saving time, it may be harder for many children to get to sleep at their normal time. This can result in daytime sleepiness.

  • Don't read too much into what the time change means. If bedtime is 8:30 then keep it at 8:30. For a few days it may take a little longer to fall asleep or a child might feel a little sleepier in the morning, but they will adjust as long as sleep times and wake times are kept on schedule

  • How long will it take one to adapt to time changes

  • With the proper preparation, one hour lost takes about 2 days to adjust to the new schedule.

  • Are sleep medications ever indicated?

  • Only on rare occasions, and often when adjustment to several hours of time change are necessary.

  • Hypnotics can help induce sleep to adjust to the new schedule

  • There are also short acting medications, such as Intermezzo, a short acting ambien or zolpidem, which can help with short cycle awaking, with less chance of causing over sedation the following day.

  • All sleep aids change the architecture of your sleep and the sleep may not be as deep or restful.

  • Why do we even have daylight savings time?

  • Daylight savings time has been in use for over 120 years.

  • First widespread adoption after the First World War

  • After the Energy Crisis of the 1970s nearly all of North America and Europe used DST

  • It adds more daylight to the evening when more events, social, sports shopping, etc take place.

  • The primary goal was to reduce the use of incandescent lighting, and assist with heating and cooling bills.

  • In current day, there is little evidence that there is an energy impact.

  • Dr. Justin Puckett, D.O.

    Complete Family Medicine

    1611 S. Baltimore

    Kirksville, Mo. 63501