Sleep tip: A consistent routine will help in adjusting to clock changes

October 30, 2013

A behavioral sleep specialist at UNT Health Science Center says “falling back” is easier than “springing forward” when it comes to clock changes.

The end of daylight saving time Sunday brings an extra hour of sleep and a relatively easy transition to the new clock schedule, said Brandy Roane, PhD, of UNTHSC’s Center for Sleep Medicine.

“Biologically, it’s the same reason why you don’t experience as much jet lag when you travel west compared to traveling east,” said Dr. Roane, Assistant Professor at the Health Science Center. “Because our circadian clock operates on a 24.2-hour cycle, it’s easier for us to stay up a little later than to go to bed a little earlier.”

Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. For optimal sleep, Dr. Roane recommends consistent bedtimes and wake times seven days a week, and to avoid TVs, computers, smartphones and other sources of blue light 20 to 30 minutes before bed.

“Consistency is what’s important,” she said. “The more you can get in a routine, the better your sleep will be.”

Video: More tips for a better night’s sleep

 

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