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Nov 07, 2018

Best ways to adapt to daylight savings time change

Estimated reading time: 2-4 minutes

Tips from Dr. Mark Aloia, Global Lead, Behavior Change, Philips

Sleeping well is essential to good health. Globally, 67 percent of adults claim sleep has significantly impacted their overall health and wellness [1]. As Daylight Savings Time ends, and the darker, shorter days of winter begin, it’s a good time to revisit the importance of sleep, and the impacts that this time of year can have on the body. While many see the shorter days as an opportunity to hit the snooze button or go to bed earlier, others find it difficult to adjust to the change. This is because the body’s circadian system – which helps balance and indicate a person’s sleep cycle with cues from the environment, including sunlight and darkness – is disrupted. Many times, inadequate, disrupted sleep can lead to less productivity throughout the day, and even affect people in ways they may not predict – from sleep deprivation to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) [2].

 

While it can take time, and be difficult to adjust, there are ways to adapt to the time change. Research has shown people do best when they rise with light. In fact, studies have shown that exposure to bright light in the morning can help people wake up feeling more ready for their day [3]. During these fall and winter months when there is less exposure to sunlight, it can be helpful to counteract the effects of lost sunlight with bright, artificial light therapy.

There are also habits in one’s everyday routine that can help lessen the impacts of Daylight Savings. These include eliminating activities and behaviors that prevent adequate sleep, such as smoking or ingestion of alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime. 

Mark Aloia

PhD, Global Lead for Behavior Change with Philips and Associate Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO.

Mark Aloia, PhD, Global Lead for Behavior Change with Philips and Associate Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO., has studied health behavior change for the past 20 years. His focus on behavioral methods to improve adherence to treatment has made significant contributions to the sleep and health psychology fields. With Philips, he has played a significant scientific role in designing mobile apps that have demonstrated strong improvements in treatment adherence and are currently used by over half a million users. 

 

“There are also habits in one’s everyday routine that can help lessen the impacts of Daylight Savings. These include eliminating activities and behaviors that prevent adequate sleep, such as smoking or ingestion of alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime. It can also be helpful to limit the bed and bedroom for sleep and intimacy only, avoiding non-sleep related activities such as watching TV, using electronic devices or spending excessive time awake in bed. Finally, creating a sleep environmental that is quiet, cool and comfortable can help with sleep onset and continuity.” – Mark Aloia, PhD, Global Lead for Behavior Change with Philips and Associate Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO. 

 

As the clocks turn back, it’s important to remember to address the body’s internal clock too. People need to take the time to listen to their bodies, and do the little things that can help during this time of change – like waking up with Philips Somneo Wake-Up Light, selected as a the top pick in a recent Wirecutter review.  Check out this recent article to learn more about how the Somneo Wake-Up Light can help you wake up feeling refreshed.   

 

[1] https://www.usa.philips.com/a-w/about/news/archive/standard/news/press/2018/20180312-philips-celebrates-world-sleep-day-early-with-the-release-of-its-annual-global-sleep-survey-results-overnight-concert-experience.html

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29971599

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/ 

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Kathy O'Reilly

Philips Group Press Office

Tel.: +1 978-221-8919