Health Effects of Daylight Saving Time

RENO, Nev. -- Daylight saving time is right around the corner and losing that hour could take a toll on your health. Experts say there are ways to avoid falling asleep at your desk on Monday.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need about seven or eight hours of sleep every night, but some of you will feel a little drowsier or crankier than usual on Monday.

Springing forward can have some serious side effects, especially if you don't get enough sleep already.

"Adding that one hour to an affected sleep-deprived individual causes major problems...increased traffic accidents, fatalities, cardiac events and unknown sleep-related problems that relate to mental underpinnings," Dr. William Torch, Washoe Sleep Disorder Center.

Not only could it disrupt your normal sleep patterns, but also harm your safety.

"If you get 5 hours of sleep, you are functioning at the equivalent of a .2 alcohol level," he said.

Dr. Torch says the best way to get a good night's sleep is to turn off all your electronics, even your cell phone, and to make sure the room is completely dark.

"The affect of light, artificial light in itself, has an effect on the circadian biological clock to fall asleep or want to fall asleep or inability to fall asleep."

Good news is you can start preparing now. Experts suggest you start waking up 15 minutes earlier each day until Sunday and to avoid sleeping in. Waking up around the same time every day will make it easier to wake up on Monday.

Dr. Torch also advises against relying on caffeine to wake you up.


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