PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Do you need a wake-up call at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning?
That is when you are supposed to turn your clock back an hour as we return to standard time and say farewell to Daylight Savings Time until next spring.READ MORE: $6.6M Awarded To Redeveloping Tree Of Life Synagogue
It might not seem like much, its just an hour, but Sleep Specialist Dr. Daniel Shade at AHN says, “One hour can have a profound effect on your sleep and on your mood and on your functioning.”
When it’s suddenly getting light earlier and darker earlier Dr. Shade says it messes with our circadian rhythms.
“It impacts our psychologic functioning to hormonal secretion to sleep to temperature regulation to immune system, it’s all regulated by circadian rhythm,” Dr. Shade says.
Dr. Shade says that earlier darkness causes our rise in melatonin to happen earlier and that brings on drowsiness.
“Certainly it’s a darker earlier so that there is the risk for accidents,” Dr. Shade explains. “So initially we’re going to feel a little bit out of phase and we’re going to feel, “why am I getting tired earlier” and then we’ll eventually that will be our normal.”
If you are trying to stave off drowsiness in the evening, many benefit from just adding more light to their environment.
If we would just go to bed when we were tired there would be no issue, but we live by the clock so until we get adjusted and Dr. Shade says there are things we can do.
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To get to the best level of sleep he says you need to regulate your body temperature.READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues: How Are Global Shortages Affecting Local Customers?
“A falling body temperature,” says Dr. Shade. “So if you take a warm shower and then you get out, your body temperature had been hot, the showers gonna fall and that helps you start to fall asleep. It’s a natural signal.”
When it’s time to go to bed Dr. Shade says you do want your melatonin to rise.
“You want a dark bedroom, you want a cool bedroom, the temperature has been kind of argued back and forth that usually, around 68 or so degrees will help induce sleep,” he says.
He also says to turn off the screens (TV, phone, computer) at least an hour before bed because they will inhibit melatonin.
Dr. Shade also says using the television or radio to provide some background sound is not a good idea because your brain can easily be diverted to what you are hearing and prevent you from reaching deep sleep.
In fact, that sound might get incorporated into your early dreaming.
If you need some noise in the room Dr. Shade says a fan works for many.
“We would recommend that you try you try white or pink noise or waves or a storm something that that might calm you down,” Dr. Shade says.
As for alcohol, “It will put you to sleep quicker but it will wake you up as you metabolize it.”
Which is his nice way of saying you’ll have to wake up to go to the bathroom. He also says alcohol tends to keep users out of REM sleep which is the deepest and best form of sleep.MORE NEWS: Man Gets Up To 20 Years In Father's Murder
Instead, he says there are sleepytime teas and warm milk that are effective in helping ease you into sleep.