Local doctors share sleep tips before Daylight Saving Time

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The clock will be springing forward this weekend, meaning your sleep schedule will lose an hour of sleep.

“We all know this, that when we’re more tired, it’s tougher to deal with whatever comes our way, and that’s certainly true for children that maybe don’t have as good of coping skills as adults,” said Dr. Steven Schulz, pediatric health medical director at Rochester Regional Health.

The time change is essentially equivalent to a one-hour jet lag where your body thinks it’s an hour earlier than it is.

“We need to do things to kind of rearrange our sleeping schedules to match that new time clock,” said Dr. Heidi Connolly, Chief of Pediatric Sleep Medicine at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Connolly said there are a few ways to mitigate the jet lag feeling. You can go to bed a little earlier, make sure it’s dark and quiet when going to sleep, and make sure there’s a lot of light when you wake up.

Dr. Schulz adds there are a few repercussions for tired kids.

“You’re going to be fatigued and younger kids, we might see more issues with behaviors. Older kids that are driving, we may see difficulty paying attention to the roads and these sorts of things,” said Dr. Schulz. “Or difficulty paying attention in class and learning the materials that they’re supposed to learn.”

This doesn’t just affect children though — adults can benefit from implementing those tips as well. In fact, it’s been documented that there is a surge in fatal car crashes around daylight saving time.

Both doctors agree that good sleep hygiene is the best way to acclimate to the time change.

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