Loading articles...

The impact of 'springing forward' on sleeping patterns

Last Updated Mar 11, 2018 at 7:58 am PDT

(iStock)
Summary

"Springing forward" can actually have an impact on your sleep patterns, according to a child and family therapist

An expert says Daylight Saving Time and the lost sleep that comes with it can impact brain functions we take for granted

Tip to help with an hour of lost sleep include practicing good sleep hygiene and limiting screen time

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The good news is, the sun sticks around longer; the bad news is, you get one less hour of sleep.

Daylight Saving Time is back, but what difference does one hour really make?

Child and family therapist Michelle Kambolis says the time change and that lost shuteye can be especially hard on kids.

“It affects the child’s ability to process information, to be able focus at school… Mainly because they don’t yet have the coping skills to be able to manage all of the physical and mental repercussions.”

It can impact the many brain functions we take for granted.

“Everything from our mood and mental focus to the release of certain hormones,” she says. “It can affect our hunger levels and our ability to cope overall.”

Her advice? Practice good sleep hygiene. “Lose the caffeine, alcohol, and sugar by mid afternoon and, instead, opt for foods that are high in tryptophan and magnesium.”

She also recommends limiting screen time — for both you and your children.

“Powering down digital devices entirely at least one hour before bedtime is important not only in regulating Melatonin levels but also it allows the brain to relax.”

The fatigue that comes with Daylight Saving Time can also be dangerous if you’re getting behind the wheel.