Daylight savings time, or setting the clocks back an hour in the fall or forward an hour in the spring, has its pros and cons.
In the fall, the promise of an extra hour of sleep can be glorious. The earlier sunset — sometimes before you even get home from work — can be depressing.
Sometimes fall and winter bring more than increased hours of darkness. People with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which peaks in the fall and winter months, experience symptoms of depression, anxiety and other struggles connected with a possible imbalance of melatonin and serotonin — two chemicals that regulate a person's sleep cycle, energy level and mood.
As for the fall time change — who’s looked forward to the extra hour of sleep only to wake up automatically at your usual time and not spend the extra hour resting?
The spring time change is often viewed as a more difficult adjustment, but a lot of people wake up early and have trouble going to sleep for about a week after the fall time change.
Is skimping on the recommended amount of sleep for adults each night (7-9 hours) even a big deal? Well, these are some of the things that can happen when you don’t get enough sleep:
If sleep is a nightly struggle, try these tips to improve your sleep:
If changes to your routine or environment don’t help, or if you feel unusually tired during the day, see a doctor. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.
Priya Jimmy, M.D., is an internal medicine physician with Elmhurst Memorial Elmhurst Clinic. Dr. Jimmy is accepting new patients in Elmhurst! View her profile and schedule your appointment online.
At Edward-Elmhurst Health’s sleep centers, we’re here to help you enjoy peaceful, uninterrupted sleep. Learn how we can help.
Do you think you may have a sleep disorder? Take our free, online SleepAware assessment to assess your risk.
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