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Daylight savings time is coming: Tips for avoiding insomnia, sleep changes

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Lack of sleep has a countless amount of setbacks: weight gain, depression, diabetes, irritability and work behavior issues are just some of the cons. And daylight savings time (DST) can really throw a body out of whack. DST begins on Sun., March 9, so get ready to set your clocks one hour forward.

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And while you're at it, take the necessary steps to get sufficient sleep.

CDC suggests the following amount of hours of sleep per age group:

  • Infants to two months: 12 to 18 hours
  • Three to 11 months: 14 to 15 hours
  • Ages 1 to 3: 12 to 14 hours
  • Ages 3 to 5: 11 to 13 hours
  • Ages 5 to 10: 10 to 11 hours
  • Ages 10 to 17: 8.5 to 9.5 hours
  • Ages 18 and up: 7 to 9 hours

Avoiding distractions that'll keep a person awake and going to bed earlier are a couple of ways to try to get sufficient sleep.

Both CDC and the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) discourage having a television in the bedroom, too.

So how common are bedroom televisions? wiseGeek reports that almost 99 percent of Americans have at least one television in their homes, and the master bedroom is the third most popular place for TVs, followed by a living room or a den.

NSF takes their tips against television in bedrooms a step further by specifying what not to watch on any TV before bed: violent shows and news reports/stories.

"The sleep environment should be used only for sleep and sex," according to NSF.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute confirms that younger and middle-aged African-Americans are at a higher risk of lighter sleep, lack of sleep and sleep-related breathing problems than other groups.

Most people can have a rough time going to sleep every once in awhile, but if lack of sleep is happening on a repeated basis, this may be cause for concern. If falling asleep is much more serious than just turning off the television, less caffeine drinking or avoiding late night meals, it may be necessary to talk to a medical professional about the risks of one of four sleeping disorders: insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome (RLS) or sleep apnea.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago nutrition and fitness entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Diet and Exercise channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago vegetarian entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Vegetarian channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Diet & Exercise" and "Vegetarian World" Pinterest boards.

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