Now that February has passed, we can now look forward to the snow melting and spring making its way into our lives.
As great as this all sounds, early March also brings us the great Daylight Savings time change, where we set out clocks one hour ahead. For the average human being, this can wreak havoc on our sleep schedules. When you regularly use a CPAP mask, this time change can throw your sleep schedule off course even more. The CPAP therapy relies heavily on following a scheduled bed time and throwing that off can cause a rift in your sleep patterns, and it can also make you wake up feeling overtired and groggy in the morning. Coincidentally, the effects of untreated sleep apnea are similar to the effects that daylight savings time changes can create.
Here are some tips to overcome this change and embrace the longer days:
- Go to bed earlier. Even if it’s only 15 minutes earlier, it will still make a positive difference in your CPAP therapy. And you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.
- Practice good sleep hygiene: avoid watching TV or using any electronics right before bedtime and stick to a routine. If you brush your teeth at the same time every night, keep this up, even if it doesn’t feel like it’s time for bed.
- Get some sunlight during the day. As bizarre as this may sound, this is something that will actually help your internal clock, which regulates your body’s sleep patterns.
- If you feel overtired in any way, do NOT drive or attempt to operate any heavy machinery. Statistics show that the rate for car accidents increases after the spring time change. The cause of these accidents? You guessed it: drowsy driving.
As irritating as the time change may feel at first, have faith that you WILL adjust to it in no time and in just a week, it will feel like the clocks didn’t change at all.