One thing I absolutely love about Daylight Savings Time is the fact that we get an extra hour of daylight to spend outdoors, especially now that the weather is getting warmer. The worst part about it is the hour of sleep we lose tonight, and the amount of days it takes to make it up and feel back to normal. If you’re worried about feeling groggy on Monday morning or on losing that extra hour of sleep tonight, you’re in luck. Renowned sleep expert, Dr. Joseph Ojile joined me this week to share his top tips for getting a good night’s sleep and how to wake up well-rested!
Candace Rose: With this week being National Sleep Awareness Week, can you tell us why sleep is so important to our health?
Dr. Joseph Ojile: “Well, you need sleep for all the bodily functions and every organ system; so there’s the positive and the negative. So the negative is if you don’t get enough sleep or you get poor quality sleep, it’s going to affect all the aspects of your body’s function- from the organ system like your heart, blood sugar, to irritability, anxiety, poor daytime function, loss of memory inability to think and even safety issues when it comes to operating vehicles. On the positive side, if you get healthy sleep you’re going to get improved pain control, weight control, feel better during the day, think better, have better exercise tolerance and lower your risk for health problems in all those areas. We want to encourage people to incorporate good sleep health into their daily routine.”
Candace Rose: How does Daylight Savings Time affect sleeping patterns?
Dr. Joseph Ojile: “Daylight Savings Time is like having a self-induced jet lag. It gets your body’s sleep rhythm and daytime pattern out of synch for a couple days, and it has to be put back in synch in two to three days. It also is taking a whole hour of sleep.”
Candace Rose: What can we do to improve sleep habits?
Dr. Joseph Ojile: “First of all, identify it as a priority and then incorporate that with diet and exercise. Get more active because the sleep in America poll clearly suggests that more activity (even limited activity will improve sleep quality and sleep perception.
Set your wake time, set your bedtime and make sure they’re far enough to get a good night sleep. Get all of the technology out of the bedroom, and if you do have that occasional night of sleepiness, there are products out there to help you, such as ZzzQuil, which is a non-habit forming sleep aid that can be used for occasional sleepiness.
And make your bedroom a sanctuary, so that that’s a place that you go to to sleep. Again, NO technology; make it cool and comfortable, make it dark and keep the stimulus to a limited degree. And there are even now some adjunctive things like Downy Infusion lavenders, so you can have a smell or a scent that will help with sleep induction. And those are all some tips to help with getting to sleep and getting the right amount of sleep.”
Candace Rose: Are there any foods that we should eat OR avoid before bed to get a good night’s sleep?
Dr. Joseph Ojile: “A balanced diet- a little more protein and a little more carbs; but much less sugar and lower calories, and of course caffeine containing things like chocolate. Coffee and so forth should not be used prior to bed. And sometimes a warm drink like a green tea or a warm cup of milk do help some people get to sleep.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Dr. Joseph Ojile: “We have good websites- SleepFoundation.org, ZzzQuil.com and the ZzzQuil Facebook page are all good resources for more information on sleep health.”