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With time springing forward into daylight saving time, our body clocks are going to face a new set of problems―the inability to fall asleep and get up easily at a new time, say local experts at Alvarado Hospital. Other common complaints can include fatigue, memory lapses, impaired reaction time and clumsiness. Though most of the potential side effects of the time change are temporary, following some simple tips could help your body adjust to the time change faster and easier.

Dr. Larry Emdur, a pulmonologist with the Alvarado Hospital Sleep Center, offers the following tips:

  • Avoid overexertion and muscle fatigue immediately before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine within two to four hours of going to sleep.
  • Relax an hour or so before getting in bed. Read, listen to music or take a warm (not hot) bath.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and at a moderate temperature (60-65 degrees for most people).
  • Get into bed and progressively relax each muscle area, starting with the toes and traveling slowly up to your head.

For those who have difficulty falling asleep:

  • Try to establish a regular sleeping schedule, but don't go to bed until you are sleepy. If you don't fall asleep in 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and return only when you are sleepy.
  • No matter when you go to sleep, get up at the same time and avoid naps during the day.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, cut your time in bed by an hour or more until 90% of it is spent sleeping. Then gradually increase your time in bed by 15-minute increments. If you suffer from chronic or severe insomnia, you should visit a doctor to see if there is an underlying medical condition.

For more information about sleep disorders or to schedule an appointment for a sleep study, call 619-229-7000 or click here.