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Tips for "Springing Forward" Without Sacrificing Sleep

March 09, 2017

As we approach Daylight Saving Time and prepare to "Spring Forward" this Sunday, March 12, the amazing respiratory therapists (RTs) at Craig have prepared some tips to help you adjust with minimal impact to your sleep hygiene.

Did you know the RTs at Craig do so much more in addition to their work with ventilator and trached patients? One of the new and exciting programs that the RTs have started is the Sleep Disordered Breathing Program to help ensure our patients have the information and tools they need to have the best possible night's sleep while at Craig and after they go home.

Enjoy these tips from the sleep experts at Craig!

General Daylight Saving Tips:

  • If possible, set one clock to the new time on Friday and try to maintain your normal schedule while adhering to the new time to get a jump start to the week ahead!
  • Be active on Sunday – exhaust the brain and body for a better night sleep.
  • Do not take long naps.
  • Don’t imbibe! Alcohol interferes with sleep cycles.
  • Avoid heavy meals 2-3 hours before bedtime (heavy meals kick up your metabolism to burn calories).
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar and other stimulants 2-3 hours prior to bedtime.
  • Use blackout shades to make the room as dark as possible at bedtime.
  • Have “white noise” in your room at bedtime.
  • Avoid emotional/stressful conversations prior to bedtime.
  • Evaluate your bedding (blankets, pillows, mattress, etc.) for comfort.
  • Sleep in a cool room and use more blankets (more blankets make for a better sleep environment).
  • Use lighting in the room one hour earlier in the morning (it stays darker longer in the morning – daytime lamp lights work well).
  • Silence your phone!
  • Avoid “blue” screens one hour before bedtime

Daylight Saving Tips for the Night Shift Worker (in addition to the tips above):

  • Sleep and eat well prior to your shift.
  • Wind down after work before going to sleep.
  • Try not to rotate between shifts (nights to days and vice versa).
  • Try to avoid long commutes.
  • Make the night as “day like” as possible.

Daylight Saving Tips for Patients (in addition to the tips above):

  • A few days prior Daylight Saving Time, try going to sleep an hour earlier.
  • Manage your sleep disorders/PAP adherence.

More About Craig’s Respiratory Therapists

Craig’s Respiratory Care Department has been working with ventilator dependent patients during rehabilitation for more than three decades. Craig’s ventilator weaning program is extremely successful, with an excellent reputation for comfortably weaning patients off mechanical ventilation while they are undergoing rehabilitation.

In addition to the Sleep Disordered Breathing Program and their work alongside the interdisciplinary teams with ventilator and trached patients, some of Craig’s RTs also teach CPR, participate in nursing skills class, act as preceptors and mentors to students and work as physician extenders with pulmonary physicians at South Denver Pulmonary at National Jewish Hospital to provide respiratory treatment plans for optimal patient care and outcomes.