Grand Rapids Chiropractic Weekly Health Alerts:

clockRetire for the night an hour earlier before switching to daylight saving time this weekend, expert says. Worried that your potential sleep patterns might be disrupted when the clocks move ahead one hour this weekend? The key is getting enough sleep ahead of time, says one sleep expert. First, make certain you’re well rested before the switch to daylight savings time on March 13, advises Dr. Aparajitha Verma, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston.

One way to do that is to start changing your sleep habits in the days before the time change; for instance, start getting up and going to sleep sixty minutes earlier, Verma said.

It’s also possible to take a nap on Sunday afternoon if you feel you need to and you’ve got the time. But avoid napping within a few hours of your regular bedtime because that could disrupt your nighttime sleep, she added.

As you try to adapt to the time change, understand that certain persistent problems may indicate a more serious sleeping disorder. Some examples are: remaining awake after 30 minutes of trying to go to sleep; excessive daytime sleepiness; or sleeping for seven or more hours and awakening tired.

If you experience such problems, you might need to consider participating in an overnight study at an approved sleep study center. Verma suggested.

More information

SOURCE: Methodist Neurological Institute, news release, March 7, 2011