CDC sleep study reveals concerns amidst Daylight Savings

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Millions of people across the world will be participating in Daylight Savings this weekend. For most, its a regular and necessary change to our schedule that means more sun and time to enjoy the day.

But the consequences of losing rest and shifting our sleep schedule can be serious.

Local sleep doctor, Dr. Anuj Chandra said that his office sees an increase in negative symptoms after daylight savings, “There is more mood problems, there is people and there’s higher rates of strokes, higher rates of heart attacks, accidents. Also in children, we see children here too that have problems with inattentiveness, irritability.”

Aside from putting our brain in a heightened fight or flight state, it can also have deeper effects on our minds. “People who have poor sleep, who report difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, 50% of them have developed depression or have underlying depression. 90% of people, who say they sleep beautifully or sleep well, have no mental health problems. So it’s a huge awakening which we’ve always known, but this is really an eye-opener.”

Adjusting your clock is always necessary, but Dr. Chandra advises everyone to start the adjustment a few days early to get better acquainted. “The time to change your clocks is not Sunday because you’re going to be miserable come Monday morning. You have to do it today, especially Thursday, especially for the children. Make sure you’re getting up at their new time tomorrow. Just kind of of shake them, wake them up. Even if they’re a little trouble, they’ll be able to go to sleep earlier.”

To get adjusted to daylight savings and get better quality sleep, Dr. Chandra also suggests:

  • Sticking to a fixed sleep schedule
  • Turn off electronic devices an hour before bed
  • Do not eat right before bed
  • Take a walk before going to bed and after waking up
  • Exercise regularly
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