Daylight Saving Time tip: Make bedtime earlier now

March is Sleep Health Month, and doctors say one way to sleep well this spring is to plan ahead for changes in sleep patterns.

KRCG 13 spoke with SSM Health Dr. Sangeeta Jain-Roberts about how to stay ahead on sleep while springing forward to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 12.

Dr. Jain-Roberts works as a hospitalist at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital and said she's no stranger to working shifts with all sorts of hours. She explained that hospitalists are doctors that exclusively work hospital shifts.

"I've had to work overnight, taking phone calls, coming in during the night, sometimes work shifts up to 36 hours. It’s just what the job calls for," she said.

Her work as a physician has made her something of an expert on how to adjust to new sleep schedules.

Dr. Jain-Roberts said almost everyone should try to shift their sleep schedule slightly in order to prepare for Daylight Saving Time.

"The important thing to remember to adjust your body to the new time schedule is to try to go to bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier,” she said. “It's key to start adjusting your time schedule about a week before the actual change occurs."

She said the best way to ensure you can fall asleep a little earlier than usual is to get more sunshine, more time outdoors, or even any sort of artificial light exposure, if possible.

"With the time change, we need to be aware that we need to increase the amount of light exposure we have to try to get ourselves tired,” she said. “That way, when the time comes to actually go to sleep, we can actually fall asleep."

Dr. Jain- Roberts said a successful Daylight Saving Time transition also starts with setting up fail-safe measures for the morning.

"Cell phones now automatically make the adjustment in time for us, but to be actually 100-percent sure that you'll get up on time, it might be a good idea to set a back-up alarm," she said.

Daylight Saving Time will officially begin at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 12 and last until 2 a.m. November 5.

Tune in to KRCG 13 next Friday at 5 p.m. for our next Family First topic - we'll go over tips and tricks for how to create the best bedtime routine with Sleep Medicine Dr. Krishna Mettu for how to create the best bedtime routine.

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