How Time Change Affects Sleep and Health

Rutgers Sleep Expert Available to Discuss How Time Change Affects Sleep and Health
Falling backward is the easier transition for most people. Children and younger adults typically enjoy sleeping in the extra hour. It gets a little harder for many as they get older and struggle to stay awake beyond their normal bedtimes, but only people with serious circadian disorders have real issues adapting.
Falling backward is the easier transition for most people. Children and younger adults typically enjoy sleeping in the extra hour. It gets a little harder for many as they get older and struggle to stay awake beyond their normal bedtimes, but only people with serious circadian disorders have real issues adapting.Unsplash

Xue Ming, a neurology professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, can speak to journalists about the time change’s impact on circadian rhythms and strategies for minimizing disruption.

Falling backward is the easier transition for most people. Children and younger adults typically enjoy sleeping in the extra hour. It gets a little harder for many as they get older and struggle to stay awake beyond their normal bedtimes, but only people with serious circadian disorders have real issues adapting.
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The following quotes from Ming are for use in media coverage of the time change:

  • Time changes are a serious health issue for people with circadian disorders, but they’re not a big deal for others. Research on travelers who fly across time zones indicates that it generally takes a day to fully adjust for each hour change, which means that it only takes most people a single day to adjust to the time shift every spring and fall.

  • On the whole, the time change is probably advantageous. Most people adjust quickly, and there is a significant advantage in keeping sunrise around the time that most people actually wake up.

  • Falling backward is the easier transition for most people. Children and younger adults typically enjoy sleeping in the extra hour. It gets a little harder for many as they get older and struggle to stay awake beyond their normal bedtimes, but only people with serious circadian disorders have real issues adapting.

  • People can ease this adjustment by exposing themselves to bright light in the evening. Clinicians use lights with up to 2,500 lux, but normal household lights will create an effect. Fluorescent works better than incandescent. Very hot evening showers and baths will also create evening wakefulness. (HN/Newswise)

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