Walnut Creek Chiropractor Weekly Health Alert:

clockGo to sleep an hour earlier before switching to daylight saving time this weekend, expert says. Worried that your potential sleep patterns could be disrupted when the clocks move ahead one hour this weekend? The secret is getting enough sleep before hand, 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.

A great way to do that is to start changing your sleep habits in the days before the time change; for example, start getting up and going to sleep at least an hour earlier, Verma said.

You can also take a nap on Sunday afternoon if you feel you need to and you have 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, remember that certain persistent problems may indicate a more serious sleeping disorder. Included in this are: remaining awake after 30 minutes of trying to go to sleep; excessive daytime sleepiness; or sleeping for seven or even more hours and awakening tired.

If you experience such problems, you may want to consider participating in an overnight study at a certified sleep study center. Verma suggested.

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