Sleep specialist gives tips on adjusting to time change


The first week following Daylight Saving Time can sometimes wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. 

An expert from Mon Health Sleep Center said there are ways to cope. 

“Moving the clock forward an hour on Saturday results in what is like a sleep deprivation state. People, usually Monday morning, have the grogginess and the tiredness, and it’s always harder to move forward than moving the clock backwards,” said Mouhannad Azzous, nurologist and sleep specialist at Mon Health Sleep Center. 

You may find yourself hungrier for less-healthy foods and craving carbs and sugar when your body is tired. Azzouz said sticking to a healthy diet and having a good breakfast can affect your alertness throughout the day. 

“Carbohydrates make people sleepy. Proteins result in more awakening kind of feeling, so certainly in the morning hours, more protein would help” said Azzouz. 

Different measures can be taken if you are going to sleep when it is still daylight outside. 

“People that are used to sleeping with the different times, they make the darkening curtains. If you’re used to sleeping in the dark, and with the time change, you can keep your room dark, and even they have the little machines that have the white noises and things like that keeps you into that zone of sleeping,” said Cathy Cole, Mon Health Sleep Center. 

Azzouz said that morning cup of coffee is okay to have to help keep your energy levels up.

“Caffeine is fine. Especially the first few days after the change.  Some people are used to caffeine, and I think the ones that have strict schedules may need to adhere to that, especially the first week after daylight saving,” said Azzouz. 

Experts also said, as much as you may want to take a nap, it’s important to avoid it.  A long nap carries the risk of getting you into deep sleep, which can throw off your sleep cycle.

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