Daylight saving time coming this weekend

By From page A10 | March 6, 2011

Spring Forward Plum Blossom. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Spring Forward Plum Blossom. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Residents will have to suffer through losing an hour of sleep with daylight saving time effective as of 2 a.m. Sunday, March 13.  National Sleep Awareness Week kicks off Monday, providing a good time to evaluate the quality and quantity of sleep one gets

The loss of even one hour of sleep, especially the final hour, impacts how well people function throughout the day. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived experience a negative effect on their mood and ability to focus, and risk their personal safety, including:

• Sleep deprivation is the most likely cause of a 17 percent increase in accidents after the spring time change.

• There is a 5 percent increase in heart attacks in the first week after the time change.
• The level of impairment for sleep-deprived drivers is comparable to those who drive drunk.

While people may understand the importance of getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night, not many people know that quality of sleep is equally important as the length of time spent sleeping. Achieving quality sleep is easily within a person’s control. Here are some tips to help:

• Turn off TV and laptops to quiet your mind and remove light from the bedroom

• Avoid activities close to bedtime that impede sleep like exercising or eating

• Select a mattress that is supportive and will adjust to your comfort level

• Use comfortable pillows and bedding

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