Published March 17, 2014 This content is archived.
“Make sure to get early morning sunlight, or bright light, and then avoid bright lights later in the evening,” he says. “Exposure to bright lights is the strongest signal that makes your body want to stay awake.”
Ten Brock, who directs the University at Buffalo’s sleep medicine fellowship, is one of four physicians in New York State certified in behavioral sleep medicine.
Although most people adjust to the time change quickly and without much difficulty, many find it quite problematic, says Ten Brock, adding that the transition can take up to a week.
“For those who are already chronically sleep deprived, daylight saving time adds another stress; it accentuates sleep deprivation in the short term,” he says.
“Night owls in particular, who go to sleep later anyway, are especially vulnerable.”
The start of daylight saving time brings more than just fatigue.
“For the first few days, the incidence of car and workplace accidents has been shown to increase by about 6 percent,” he says.
In addition, “there is a small but documentable increase in myocardial infarction, believed to be caused by an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines,” he adds. “Daylight saving time increases the risk.”
Ten Brock offers the following tips to make the transition to daylight saving time easier: