Adjusting to Time Change

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

Many are feeling extra groggy Monday, heading back to work after losing an hour over the weekend.

Daylight Saving was enacted by Congress back in 1966, to help Americans maximize their time in the sun during the warmer months. By "springing ahead," some studies show people are more active, can save on their utility bill, and even have fewer car crashes.

Other studies show the first week of the time change, adjusting to that lost hour of sleep, people are more tired. As a result, accident reports in this first few days are actually up, both on the road and in the workplace.

As far as Marlene Rieger of Omaha is concerned, March is a little early to move the clock ahead. "It's still dark out when I go to work in the morning," she lamented. "I wish it would only be like from June until September."

And mothers of young children, like Veronica Dowda of Omaha, find it can be challenging to get the family back on track. "It's just trying to get my son out and going to school," she said.

Dr. Carlos Prendes, with Alegent Health Clinic in Millard , can relate. "Our kids always said, the sun's still awake. I don't want to go to bed yet."

His advice to parents, "Don't be afraid to put the blinds down, make the room a little bit darker.” Since light is a powerful stimulant, he also said it's a good idea to turn the switches on first thing in the morning, make up for the lack of sunlight outside by brightening things up inside.

Ideally, he said, people would have begun making small adjustments in regards to bedtime and wake time a couple weeks ago. But there are steps they can take now, if they're still having a hard time getting in the groove.

"Don't try to use alcohol or a nightcap to help you go to sleep at night because that can affect sleep. Some people can use melatonin (a dietary supplement) to help regulate their sleep cycles a little bit better," he said.

Exercise and activity may be the biggest help, he said, as long as it's not within a couple hours of bedtime.

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