Daylight-saving time can affect the body’s clock

Kettering Physician Network is a multi-specialty group of physician practices, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kettering Health Network, which provides health services to individuals and families in the Greater Dayton and Cincinnati areas.

Daylight-saving time begins this Sunday, March 13. People in the Greater Dayton area will “spring forward” by turning their clocks ahead one hour.

Doctors with Kettering Health Network’s Sleep Centers say daylight-saving time poses some specific problems for sleep. “If we change the clock on our wall correctly and keep our same sleep times, we lose an hour of sleep,” says Dr. Michael Bonnet, the clinical director of the Sleep Center at Sycamore Medical Center in Miamisburg. “But for many of us the time change means sleeping an hour later on Sunday morning and putting off the change to Sunday night. If we still go to bed and get up at our typical clock times on Sunday, our body sees this as going to bed an hour earlier and getting up an hour earlier.”

Dr. Bonnet says that by going to bed an hour earlier, we may not feel sleepy or be able to fall asleep until our body is ready an hour later. “This means that we will start Monday with an hour of sleep deprivation from the prior night and will also still be sleepy because we are getting up an hour earlier than our body is used to,” he says.

Another factor that can disrupt the body’s clock is sunrise and sunset.

The sun has been rising around 7 a.m. prior to the time change, but after the time change the sun will rise around 8 a.m. “As a result, people may once again be driving to work or school in the dark again or into the rising sun,” says Dr. Bonnet. “We could see an increase in auto accidents, an increase in bad moods, and other problems on Monday morning.”

Dr. Bonnet says our bodies should adjust to the new time in a few days.

Sleep is important to good health. Experts recommend the following general daily amounts of sleep:

Adults: 7-9 hours

Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

School-age children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours

Preschoolers 3-5 years): 10-13 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours.

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