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Spring forward: Most of us will feel that loss of an hour

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Sixty percent of Americans will feel the impact of the time change the Monday following Daylight Saving Time, and 40 percent will need a week or longer to recover from losing one hour of sleep, according to research conducted by the Better Sleep Council (BSC).

With Americans in the midst of what the Centers for Disease Control has coined a "national sleep epidemic," research shows that losing an hour during Daylight Saving Time may worsen the problem.

As the non-profit education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, the BSC conducted the research as part of its continuing mission to expose the relationship between sleep, good health and quality of life, as well as the critical role the sleep environment plays in pursuit of a good night's sleep. The research verifies that sleep loss has detrimental effects on health:

  • 39% of Americans are in a worse mood following the time change
  • 74% over the age of 30 report that sleepiness affects their work
  • 79% have difficulty concentrating and higher stress after a bad night's sleep
  • 79% would feel better and more prepared for the day with an extra hour of sleep
  • 30% are willing to pay $100 or more for that extra hour of sleep at night
  • Traffic and machine accidents will increase the Monday after the clocks roll forward

"Poor sleep negatively affects learning, memory, relationships, success and even the immune system," said Terry Cralle, R.N., certified clinical sleep educator and health and wellness spokesperson for the BSC. "With 'spring forward' just around the corner, the BSC encourages everyone to mitigate potential negative effects by reevaluating their current sleep environment and taking actions to improve overall sleep hygiene."

The BSC suggests the following activities to fight daylight saving time and the usual post-weekend blues:

  1. Climb into bed 15 minutes early
  2. Ditch caffeine after lunch
  3. Embrace the catnap
  4. Evaluate your current bedroom and create a sleep sanctuary
  5. Give your bed an ultimatum – if it isn't comfortable or supportive, replace it
  6. Get out of bed after 20 minutes if you can't fall asleep
  7. Treat sleep like an appointment you can't miss – schedule time for it
  8. Eat light at night
  9. Soak in a warm bath or meditate before bedtime
  10. Keep a worry journal to de-stress before bed

To help diminish the consequences of Daylight Saving Time, the BSC is launching #SpringToBed, a social media campaign that challenges several bloggers to pursue a personal sleep challenge. The program highlights personal accounts of the challenges and benefits associated with a better night's sleep during Daylight Saving Time.

For more information about #SpringToBed or about how to improve your sleep year-round, visit www.bettersleep.org.


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