If you have been tired on this day after daylight saving time, you are not alone. Even though we lost just one hour of sleep, that time can have a big impact on your health.
“Sleep is just as important as the food you eat, the exercise you get, the water you drink; it’s just as important,” said Kelly Schmidt, the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Clinical Sleep Educator.
Sleep is the foundation for your whole day, impacting your attitude, your health and your outlook on the rest of the day.
“If they are not getting enough sleep, what is the first thing you want to do is you want to eat poorly, you want that quick fast food, caffeine, carbs, sugars those types of things,” Schmidt said. “You might have a little energy from the caffeine in the beginning but then you are going to feel sluggish and then you don’t want to exercise because you are tired.”
It’s a costly cycle of poor decisions, all starting with your sleep schedule. Experts say the key to getting enough sleep is having a routine.
“At least a half hour before bed time you should start preparing your body and your brain for sleep which means dim the lights, get the house cooled and prepare yourselves,” Schmidt said.
Experts recommend getting a full seven or eight hours of sleep each night.
“People try to recover on a weekend which technically doesn’t really work so you should just get your recommended amount of sleep every day for the best health benefits,” Schmidt added.
But for some people getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep is easier said than done.
“If you are having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, typically we need to find the root of why, most of the time it is stress related,” Schmidt said.
Most sleep problems are self-induced from bad sleeping habits which can lead to bad habits in other parts of your life too.
“Mood is the huge thing, if you are tired you are going to be more irritable and less patient that is one thing,” Schmidt said. “It impacts your health significantly too you can actually have more heart issues if you are not getting the proper sleep that you need.”
Even though it’s not always easy, it might be time to put the electronics and other distractions to bed and get some sleep.