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Smoothing the Transition to Daylight Saving Time
Clocks spring forward at 2 a.m. on Sunday, and here are some tips to help you cope
-- HealthDay staff
THURSDAY, March 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Be prepared to lose a bit of sleep this weekend with the switch to Daylight Saving Time, but one doctor offers some tips for a smooth transition.
The change takes place at 2 a.m. Sunday, when clocks "spring forward" one hour.
"It's well known that a small shift in time can have an impact on our body clock and our health, and the time change may cause sleepiness and fatigue. When time shifts, remember your body has a clock, too," said Dr. Yosef Krespi, director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Krespi said the one-hour change should make little difference to the young and healthy. But sleep-wake cycles change as people age, so the older people are, the more likely they are to struggle with the time adjustment.
"Individuals with pre-existing sleep conditions such as insomnia or sleep apnea will have even more difficulties in adjusting to the change," he said in a hospital news release.
Research has found that heart attacks, traffic crashes and workplace accidents increase just after the switch to Daylight Saving Time. Disturbances in sleep patterns associated with the change can also affect performance, concentration and memory, Krespi added.
"The impacts of Daylight Saving Time are likely related to our body's internal circadian rhythm, the molecular cycles that regulate our brain when we feel awake and when we feel sleepy," Krespi said.
Most people should be able to adjust to the change within a day or two, he said, offering the following suggestions:
For more about sleep, visit the National Sleep Foundation.
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