WASHINGTON – Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend and that means one less hour of sleep.
Dr. Neal Maru, sleep medicine specialist and director of Integrated Neurology Services with offices in Virginia and Maryland, says the affect of shift sleep schedules due to turning the clocks ahead is similar to jet lag.
To avoid a rough awakening Sunday, begin preparing your body today by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night.
By Saturday, your body will be adjusted and you won’t miss that lost hour of sleep as much, Maru says.
He also recommends exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning and through the first half of the day.
“That can really set us up for a good night of sleep, kind of resets our circadian clock,” he says.
Similarly, avoid light in the evening and at night. Also helps ensure a good night of sleep.
Taking melatonin can help the sleep schedule shift but the timing of the medication is critical and patients should consider consulting a doctor, Maru says.
Alcohol can help you fall asleep but it disrupts sleep in the second of half of the night and Maru doesn’t recommend it as a sleep aid.
“If you want to enjoy a glass of wine early in the evening with dinner, by all means. But
within two or three hours of bed time, I usually recommend staying away from alcohol,” Maru says.