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In the Media

11.01.09 How the Time Change Can Leave Seniors Behind

CareMore Health Plan Offers Tips for Adjusting to the Time Change

With daylight savings time ending early this year, our body-clocks are facing a new set of problems—the inability to fall asleep and get up easily at a new time says local experts at CareMore Health Plan.

Other common complaints include fatigue, memory lapse, impaired reaction time and clumsiness. Though most of the potential side effects of the time change are temporary, the following are some simple tips that might help your body adjust to the time change faster and easier.

CareMore Health Plan experts offer these tips for seniors:

• Avoid overexertion and muscle fatigue immediately before bedtime.

• Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine within two to four hours of going to sleep.

• Relax an hour or so before getting in bed. Read, listen to music or take a warm (not hot) bath.

• Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and at a moderate temperature (60-65 degrees for most people).

• Get into bed and progressively relax each muscle area, starting with the toes and traveling slowly up to your head.

For those who have difficulty falling asleep:

• Try to establish a regular sleeping schedule, but don't go to bed until you are sleepy. If you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and return only when you are sleepy.

• Regardless of when you go to sleep, get up at the same time and avoid naps during the day.

• Cut your time in bed by an hour or more until 90 percent of it is spent sleeping. Then gradually increase your time in bed by 15-minute increments. If you suffer from chronic or severe insomnia, you should visit a doctor to see if there is an underlying medical condition.