Get ready to say goodbye to a precious hour of sleep, Winnipeg — daylight saving time returns this Sunday at 2 a.m.
While politicians continue to debate the need to end the tradition, sleep researchers and clinicians agree two time changes a year don’t help promote healthy patterns for the already sleep-deprived.
Sleep consultant and University of Manitoba professor, Diana McMillan says COVID-19 has done a number on a lot of people’s sleep patterns these last few years.
She says of the data she has collected, “75 per cent or more report some sleep disturbance related to COVID,” says McMillan.
“And you know, we have lots of stressors additionally going on, whether it’s the conditions in Ukraine or our economic and financial increases at the pump, they’re adding stressors as well.”
McMillan also highlights the sleep drawbacks that come from working remotely.
“That whole routine of sort of getting up, getting out the door and going to a different place to work for many individuals has been disrupted,” she says. “And there is an ability or possibility, I guess, to access that coffee pot more than you should.”
Ever the optimist, McMillan believes multiple contributors to poor quality of sleep also come with multiple ways to troubleshoot.
For the most part, she says, sleep can be improved with a few simple changes.
“Getting back into a good exercise routine will help us reduce our stressors and support a healthy fatigue, which really helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep,” she says.
“And getting into a regular sleep-wake routine, particularly the same wake time, and as much as possible the same bedtime, will help to sort of get you into a much better cycle, and you won’t be fighting your body to fall asleep.”