Lack of sleep is often a chronic problem for people, which is worsened by the time change during Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Alexander Gelfer, M.D, board-certified sleep specialist and medical director of the SleepCare Centers at Kenmore Mercy and Sisters of Charity St. Joseph Campus, shared some easy-to-follow methods for coping with troubled sleep patterns.

““Most adults already get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of nightly sleep needed to be fully alert the next day. Sleep plays an important role in your overall health. Not getting enough of it could lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other chronic conditions.

Dr. Alexander Gelfer, MD

Medical Director, SleepCare Centers, Kenmore Mercy & St. Joseph Campus

Steps to Help You Sleep Better

1Gradually Transition Into Schedule Changes
At least two days prior to a schedule change that requires you to wake up earlier, go to bed 15 minutes before you normally would. Also, set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier. This makes it easier for your body to adjust to the new schedule.

2Get Some Exercise During the Day 
Even moderate exercise, such as walking, can help you sleep better. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, three times a week or more. But avoid exercise within three hours of bedtime.

3Avoid Stimulating Substances 
Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep habits. Instead, relax with a soothing, warm bath and curl up with a book before bed.

4Eat Light at Night 
Indigestion from spicy and fatty food or having too much food on your stomach can cause insomnia.

5Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment 
The relaxing mixture of darkness and quiet is key to a good night’s sleep. Whether you try sleep shades, ear plugs, a white-noise machine, or all three, there are plenty of tools available to help block out stimulation and bring on slumber.

Dr. Gelfer adds, “Don’t forget the importance of comfort in the equation. Invest in a good mattress and pillow; you’ll be repaid in sweet dreams.”

If you’re experiencing continued difficulty falling or staying asleep, you might benefit from a consultation with a sleep specialist.

Visit us online to learn more about sleep care at Catholic Health or call the number below to schedule an appointment with a specialist near you.

Find a Sleep Specialist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112

Find a Sleep Specialist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112