What are you up to on Monday, March 11?

Whatever…try to avoid daytime sleepiness when we spring forward

Chances are you’re aware we spend about a third of our lives asleep. But you might not know that about one-third of us don’t get enough “good quality” sleep. 

What are the barriers to waking up feeling refreshed and clear-headed? In short, it’s a long list. 

Start with the fact that we live in a society that runs 24/7. And many of us, such as nurses, paramedics, police, flight attendants and factory workers, do shift work. 

Add in health issues like asthma, allergies, gastric reflux or pain, these can all disrupt sleep. There are also milestones in life. Maybe a first baby has arrived or we’re headed for menopause and have fragmented sleep due to night sweats. Beyond these, there are dozens of recognized sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, sleepwalking, restless legs and chronic insomnia. 

Whatever might be affecting the quality of our sleep, we must remember that the dangers of daytime sleepiness are real. 

Quality sleep is essential for mental alertness, problem solving and reaction time. So, if we’re sleep deprived, we’re more apt to lose concentration or make mistakes that could lead to accidents in the home, on the job or when driving.

Tips to consider before changing the clocks on Sunday, March 10

Make your sleep environment about sleep – avoid TV and other screens at least one hour before getting into bed 

Prepare for bed as usual, but put your head on the pillow 15 minutes earlier during the week leading up to March 10 

Don’t exercise or eat near bedtime 

Don’t stay up late to change your clocks 

Change them mid-afternoon, eat supper when the clock says it’s time, and plan for a good night’s sleep

Printable Version