Experts give tips to prepare for daylight saving time

Generic Daylight Saving Time graphic
Generic Daylight Saving Time graphic(Source: Pixabay)
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 9:06 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Experts with Ochsner Baton Rouge are providing tips for people to prepare for and adjust to daylight saving time.

Most people will lose an hour of sleep during the seasonal time change on Sunday, March 12.

Without preparation ahead of time, the change could take a day or two for people to adjust.

The below tips were provided by Liz Lejeune, NP, who specializes in pulmonology and sleep medicine at the Ochsner Medical Complex at the Grove:

  • Plan ahead. Starting the week of March 6, try going to bed a little earlier each night or waking up a little earlier. This minimizes the amount of sleep loss and makes the change less drastic.
  • Making up for lost sleep doesn’t work. Sleeping in the day before the time change or taking a nap that day won’t help your body adjust. It’s better to go to bed and wake up on the same schedule every day, including weekends.
  • Avoid alcohol and stimulants. Alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, but it leads to poor sleep quality and could worsen sleep apnea symptoms. Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine increase the time needed for your body to produce the chemicals that make you sleepy.
  • Have a sleep-friendly environment. The bedroom environment triggers your body for sleep. It should be dark, cool, and quiet. Turn off televisions, phones, and laptops, which stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to nod off.

Experts said the time change doesn’t have much of an impact on people who get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, more than half of all Americans sleep less than seven hours every night.

Seasonal time changes can lead to drowsy driving, and research shows drowsy driving can often become as dangerous as drunk driving. Deadly car accidents in the United States went up by 6% following the start of daylight saving time, according to a 2020 study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

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