Time Change Blues: How Bad IS Losing an Hour of Sleep?
For those of us who struggle with sleep quality during a normal night, losing an extra hour of sleep because of “Spring Forward” can feel like a blow.
Fortunately, it usually only takes a couple of days for the body’s circadian rhythm to adjust to the new schedule. During that time, however, pay attention to your alertness levels – especially when driving. When that alarm goes off at “normal” time in the morning, your body still expects another hour of sleep.
Unfortunately, ongoing sleep disruptions can negatively affect your physical health. If you suffer from loud snoring, silent pauses in breathing, abrupt awakenings, dry mouth or sore throat and even daytime sleepiness, it might be time to talk with your doctor about a sleep study.
“People can be reluctant to have a sleep study done because they don’t understand the process,” said Ajay Verma, MD, with Memorial Specialty Care Pulmonology in Decatur. “But it’s actually pretty straightforward. You come in for the night to a comfortable room, and we place small button-like electrodes on various parts of your head and body. The electrodes enable us to take in data about how loudly you snore, your movements, your sleeping patterns and more.”
Specifics from the sleep study data enable your doctor to then recommend appropriate treatment options. The importance of regular uninterrupted sleep is crucial to good health. Check out these benefits:
- Increases immunity to sickness.
- Helps maintain a healthier weight.
- Lowers risk for serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
- Reduces stress.
- Improves mood.
- Can sharpen mental focus and clarity.
If you experience sleep disorders, speak with your primary care doctor. A sleep study or other specialty referral may help you determine the root cause.
Looking for a healthcare provider? Visit Memorial Care to view providers in our 16-county area who are accepting new patients.