• Spring Ahead: changing the clock does not have to mean a change to your sleep pattern

    On Sunday, March 8, we change the clock to “Spring Ahead” to Daylight Savings Time. Losing that hour of sleep may affect your sleep cycle. You may find it hard to get going in the morning because it is darker later and it may be harder to wind down at night when it is lighter longer.

    Moving our clocks forward changes the principal time cue - light - used for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. Because of this, our internal clock becomes out of sync or mismatched with our current day-night cycle. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average person sleeps 40 minutes less the night following the springtime change.

    How the time change will affect you depends on your own personal health, sleep habits, and lifestyle, explained Eileen Luley, MS, RRT/RPSGT, service line administrator for Rome Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center and Cardiopulmonary services.

    “Moving the clock forward can cause problems with the sleep/wake cycle causing sleep to be disrupted,” Luley said. “The disruption in our circadian rhythm can also affect mood, our ability to work, even driving.”

    Luley offers a few ways that you can lessen the effect of the time change on your sleep:
    1. Try to go to bed a little earlier each night, in 15 minute intervals.
    2. Avoid keeping a TV on in bedroom, and avoid electronics, phones or anything that can
    stimulate your brain when you are preparing to go to sleep.
    3. Always avoid smoking, drinking and caffeine before bed.

    “Sleep is vital to health and you should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you regularly have trouble with sleep and wake cycles or wake up in the night frequently, talk with your health care professional as these could be signs of sleep disorders,” Luley advised. “A sleep study may be recommended to help pinpoint the cause of sleep problems and plan appropriate treatment.”

    A sleep study is a painless test which monitors brain waves, eye movement, chin movement, chest and leg movements, air flow, and oxygen levels while the patient sleeps. Data collected from the sleep study is interpreted in a report for the referring physician.

    Sleep studies are done at the Sleep Disorders Center at Rome Memorial Hospital, which is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). The Sleep Disorders Center is located within the hospital which gives the patients comfort in knowing that full time security is always available as well as critical care trained staff.

    The center offers:
     New Sleep Number® queen-sized beds in hotel-like rooms
     Private bathrooms in each room equipped with towels, soap, shampoo and hair dryer
     Flat screen television
     Continental breakfast
    The Sleep Disorders Center is open six nights a week, offering sleep studies for patients age 2 and older. In addition, studies can be performed during the day or off hours for individuals whose daily routine includes daytime sleep schedules.

    If you feel that your sleep problems may be caused by more than just the spring time change, talk to your primary care provider or schedule an appointment with Pulmonologist Mohammed Seedat, MD at Rome Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine by calling 315.337.3071.

    For more information about the Sleep Disorders Center at Rome Memorial Hospital, please call 315.338.7242.