DARIEN, Ill., Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Setting clocks back an hour this weekend (2 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 4) creates an opportunity for millions of sleep-deprived Americans, says the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
"The time change is more than turning the clock back," says Dr. Sam Fleishman, a board-certified sleep physician who serves as AASM president. "It's a once a year opportunity to reset your body clock for an extra hour of sleep every night."
The AASM's new website – www.sleepeducation.com – explains how to use this opportunity to reset your body clock and find help for many sleep disorders.
The AASM reports there is an epidemic of sleep illness across the country. As many as 70 million people experience sleep disorders ranging from occasional insomnia to life threatening illnesses like sleep apnea or narcolepsy, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. "Seeing a board-certified sleep physician is critical to getting the help you need," says Fleishman.
It's common knowledge, says Fleishman, that you get an extra hour of sleep on the night we turn the clocks back. You can permanently increase your nightly sleep by going to bed one hour earlier, because your body thinks it's the same time you went to bed last night.
"Adding an hour to your nightly sleep this way is the best opportunity to make sleep a priority in your life," he says.
For instance you normally sleep from midnight to 6 a.m. for six hours of sleep. After the time change, if you go to bed at 11 p.m., your body will think it's midnight. So if you sleep until the clock says 6 a.m., you're now getting seven hours of sleep.
Self-discipline isn't the only challenge to getting a good, healthy night's sleep. Some people have sleep illnesses that are beyond their ability to resolve without medical assistance.
Coinciding with the time change, the AASM is launching a new website – www.sleepeducation.com – this weekend with resources for people who want to improve the quality of their lives by sleeping better. The site includes a searchable listing of board-certified sleep physicians and accredited sleep centers capable of diagnosing and managing sleep disorders. Also featured are tips to manage your sleep in advance of the time change and brief resource videos that provide patient-friendly information.
"Whether you're just trying to get another hour of sleep, or you're ready to get a doctor's help for a serious sleep illness," says Fleishman, "this is an opportunity to reduce daytime sleepiness and improve your quality of life."
The AASM is a professional membership society that is the leader in setting standards and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research (www.aasmnet.org).
630-737-9700, ext. 9364
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
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