- Start of Daylight Savings Time (DST) on 29 March will require Europeans to reset their sleep-wake cycle and Philips’ scientists have tips on how to have a good night’s sleep
- Philips global survey reveals that worry about work, finances and the economy are the leading factors already disrupting our sleep
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – A good night’s sleep is essential for our wellbeing and productivity during the day, yet getting enough rest is not an easy task. A study by Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, reveals that obstructive sleep apnea (OPA), a sleep disorder requiring medical attention, affects an estimated 100 million people across the world. For the rest of us, we are mostly kept awake at night worrying about work, finances and the economy, or disrupted by our partner’s sleep habits¹. According to Philips’ scientists, these disruptions can become even more severe twice a year when the clocks change to account for Daylight Savings Time (DST) because of the effect of light on our sleep/wake cycle.
In Europe, Daylight Savings Time will start on Sunday 29 March 2015, when clocks will be put forward one hour, and most Europeans will lose an hour of sleep requiring an adjustment to sleep patterns.
“If you suffer Monday morning blues, these can be more severe on the first Monday after the transition to DST,” says Dr Luc Schlangen, Principal Scientist at Philips Lighting. “The amount and quality of light we receive during the day can affect our natural sleep/wake cycle for better or for worse. Although we cannot control the sun, we can regulate our sleep by resetting the amount and length of time we expose ourselves to light, especially blue-rich light, as well as adjusting the timings when we expose ourselves to light and darkness during our waking hours.”
Dr Luc Schlangen’s tips for overcoming sleep disruption due to Daylight Savings Time:
- Regulate exposure to both natural and artificial light: Light of the right quality, quantity and timing can make your body clock delay or advance, depending on when you’re exposed. After Daylight Saving Time, the body clock needs to be advanced. This is best done by seeking morning light (and especially blue-rich light) during the first one to two hours of waking. Try not to stay in bed too long (into the morning) to compensate for the shorter night, instead take a short 15 minute power nap in daytime if needed and try to go to bed early. Combine this with minimizing light exposure (and especially blue-rich light exposure) in the later part of your evening: dim your lights, wear sunglasses or avoid electronic devices one hour before bedtime. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially near these times.
- Give Monday morning a boost: On the Monday following Daylight Saving Time, make sure to have as much bright and blue-rich light as you can. Office lighting in the morning, combined with an extra injection of light with technologies, such as Philips goLITE BLU, can help reset your body clock and keeps you in tune with the timing of your daily obligations.
- Fall asleep at your “regular hour”: Even with the time change, try to keep a regular bedtime to optimize your performance and health. For a good night’s sleep, start relaxing and preparing for sleep an hour before you go to bed by using lights that can be dimmed and produce a warm, red and yellow-rich tone and avoid anything that overstimulates you, also make sure your bedroom is sufficiently dark, free of any disturbing light.
External enforced changes to sleep patterns, such as those associated with Daylight Savings Time changes, serve to highlight broader issues associated with our sleep. The Philips survey, ‘Sleep: A Global Perspective’ reveals that sleep is under pressure in advanced economies around the world. The finding that globally 22% of respondents reported inadequate sleep each week can be very costly in terms of health, productivity and safety.
“Risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and depression can all increase with consistently poor sleep,” says Professor David Hillman, Chair of the Australian Sleep Health Foundation “Good sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s time we all gave the need for good sleep the attention it deserves.”
Key findings of Philips Global Sleep Survey
- 57% of respondents admitted that while their sleep could be better, they haven’t taken action to improve it.
- 17% consistently sleep through the night, with 22% of respondents noting they wake up before they would like, five to seven nights a week.
- Among a list of 13 factors keeping people up at night, respondents selected financial/economic issues (28%) and work (25%) as their most common sleep disruptors.
- Of the countries most worried about work, South Korea (43%), Brazil (33%) and China (32%) ranked the highest, followed by the UK (24%), Japan (23%), the US (21%), France (21%), Germany (18%) and the Netherlands (15%).
- Of those most worried about economic/financial issues, Brazil (39%), Germany (31%) and the US (31%) topped the list.
Philips’ global sleep survey is the first in a series of reports highlighting sleep trends and habits collected from a survey of nearly 8,000 people across 10 countries including the United States, Brazil, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
Download the full “Sleep: A Global Perspective” report and supporting infographics here [hyperlink to survey: here
¹ Philips global sleep survey Sleep: A Global Perspective