TODAY   |  March 07, 2014

Tips to stay energized with daylight saving time

Spring forward! Dr. Carol Ash joins TODAY to discuss tips for dealing with the time change coming up this weekend.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> news this weekend. we get an extra hour of daylight, but we do lose an hour of sleep.

>> that's right. it affects everyone's internal body clock . and for some, it can leave you feeling groggy, more stressed out.

>> how can we prepare? the director of sleep medicine at meridian health. dr. ash. good morning. a lot of people feel they have jet lag . physically, what's happening to us when we lose that hour of sleep?

>> well, tamron, you know the clock has changed, but you have an internal clock that's not designed to change that rapidly. that internal clock is designed to be in sync with the light/dark cycle. and it changes very slowly with the seasons. so this is an abrupt change, and it really stresses our bodies.

>> we do this twice a year. does it have an impact, though, on our health despite the stress on our bodies?

>> it does. and such a large number of the population changing that one hour and losing it at the same time. studies show an 8% increase in heart attacks, the monday morning after.

>> come on.

>> yeah. it releases a lot of inflammatory substances and more car accidents the monday morning after the change.

>> wow. this got real serious.

>> yeah.

>> with that in mind, how can we prepare our bodies a little bit. today, tomorrow, leading into sunday morning.

>> this is a perfect time to start. you want to advance your bedtime by 15 minutes and wake up 15 minutes earlier each day. so start tonight. and so you want to advance the clock is what you're trying to do. you want to be antisocial. avoid any type of light at night, that means the blackberries, the ipads, everything. get rid of it at night. expose yourself to light in the a.m., get out of bed and get outside if you can. get going and prepare your kids. there's learned habits, and you're the authority for your child, it's something they're going to learn for the rest of their life.

>> do we put them to bed earlier?

>> 15 minutes .

>> it's the slow change. and most of us already sleep deprived going into this. we really --

>> the whole family shutting it down a little bit earlier. but on the up side, we gain this extra hour. you see the unearlier, it should make us feel better.

>> you're going to have that bright light , that extra hour, daylight savings time really doesn't -- you don't -- we've put in place when there was an economic benefit to it. without realizing the significant health impact.