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Daylight saving time arrives Sunday -- start practicing

March 11, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Christopher Reynolds /…)

Daylight saving time is almost here. Yes, much of the nation switches over to daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday. That makes many people happy -- or, rather, they think it does.

Sure, folks can enjoy a bit of lingering daylight before turning on the TV after dinner. But some research suggests the time change may not be all it’s cracked up to be. It might – just might, we’re not saying it does – increase your risk of having a heart attack or attempting suicide.

More to the issue perhaps is that the mornings will be darker. L.A. Times staff writer Shari Roan examined the effect of this a few years ago when the time change was moved ahead by three weeks.

She wrote: "Early morning light sets the body's clock to gear up for the day's activities, but the later sunrise in the winter -- and a society based on the clock instead of nature -- causes a delay in the normal cycle."

The University of Connecticut Health Center offers these tips for managing your sleep and life this weekend – and the rest of the year.

--Practice. In the days leading up to the change, go to bed 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes earlier.
--Take a nap on Saturday – but not close to bedtime.
--Just do it. After the time change, go to bed at your usual time – even if you don’t feel sleepy. You’ll get used to it.

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