Daylight Saving Time change can affect sleeping patterns

Posted: 11:20 PM, Mar 10, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-11 16:41:13Z
Daylight Saving Time change can affect sleeping patterns

It's not quite Spring, but we will spring forward with the start of Daylight Saving on Sunday. 

Sunday at 2 A.M., most of the country will lose an hour of sleep. That may not sound too dramatic, but doctors say this can have an effect on the body .

Jennine Wilson, a patient at Baylor Scott & White Sleep Institute, said her entire life she had difficulty adjusting to the Daylight Saving Time.

"I've worked at jobs where I have to be in at 5:30 and forget it's daylight saving. I'm at work at 3:30, 4:30 instead of the 5:30 schedule," said Wilson. 

Wilson is one of millions of Americans who have trouble getting to sleep at night. At Baylor Scott & White Sleep Institute, doctors and sleep physicians help patients with a series of sleep disorders. 

Dr. Carl Boethel, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine, said that often people have all sorts of issues when it comes to sleeping. At the institute he treats patients with disorder from sleep apnea to insomnia.

"By sleeping well at night you're better to function in the daytime," said Boethel. 

Dr. Boethel said often stress can keep people from getting to sleep.

"Most often times people cannot shut their brains off. They feel they are having difficulty relaxing once they get into bed. As a result, they end up usually staying awake getting frustrated. There is a lot of frustration and anxiety that comes with that," said Boethel. 

In order to have a good night sleep experts recommend turning off the TV, powering down your devices, and  putting your phone away at least 30 minutes before bed. Dr. Boethel said  those devices can have a detrimental effect.

"A lot of time what we are finding is people will spend time on their cell phone or tablet devices in bed and little do they know the blue light wavelength emitted by those devices tell the brain to wake up and stay awake so they have more insomnia," added Boethel.

Difficulty sleeping can be intensified with the changes Daylight Saving Time brings.

"This time of year tends to cause problems as you lose an hour of sleep it's like traveling one time zone east of us," Dr. Boethel said. 

Adjusting can be  difficult, it can take two to three weeks for some people to get back to normal.  

If you are one of those people, Dr. Boethel has some advice, "Try to go to bed at a decent hour for people who are night owls. It's going to hit them hard they aren't going to function well so they need to go to bed earlier hour."

And for Wilson, her best advice is to remember to change the clock. 

"When they say change your clock, change your clock. Cell phones are a life saver though."

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.