Hints For Dealing With Daylight Savings Time Sleep Loss

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You don’t have to feel groggy and washed out on the first full day of Daylight Savings Time, according to an Ocean County Health Department spokesperson.

Daylight Savings Time bugin the second Sunday in March – this year it wa Sunday, March 8 and will end the first Sunday in November – this year being Sunday, November 1, 2009.

“You shouldn’t lose sleep when Daylight Savings Time returns,” said Edward Rumen, department Pubic Information Officer. “A full night’s sleep is very important to all of us, not only for growing children, but for adults as well. Although the annual ‘spring forward’ ritual can disrupt normal sleep patterns, a little planning can minimize the change in your sleep patterns.”

Rumen said the National Sleep Foundation offers tips to help children and adults adjust to the change in the clock.

When helping children adjust to the seasonal change remember to:

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· Maintain your child’s regular sleep, wake and nap times.
· Try not to compensate for the lost hour by delaying bedtime or allowing your child to sleep in, as this will increase the time it takes to transition.

Rumen said. “In order to reduce possible short-term crankiness in children, some parents find gradual adjustments work best and start changing their children’s bedtimes a few days before the actual start of Daylight Savings Time in increments of 15 minutes per day.”

Rumen added that adults can make a few lifestyle adjustments and get the sleep that they need so they remain alert and refreshed.

Adults should consider:

· Giving yourself a little more sleep time than usual for a few nights prior to and immediately after the time change.
· Taking a nap in the afternoon on Sunday if you need it, but avoid napping close to regular bedtime, as it could disrupt nighttime sleep.

“Preparing a few days ahead of time and temporarily adjusting your habits can give you a smoother transition into Daylight Savings Time and prepare you to enjoy the extra hours of sunlight all season long,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Board of Health.

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