Daylight Saving Time Doesn't Have to Mean Sleep is Lost

Springing forward for daylight saving time is easy for most us, but adjusting to the new time is more difficult for sleep disorder patients.

Sam Price, program director for Lufkin's Sleep Disorders Clinic, said, "We tend to get up and go to sleep by the clock, so it's not a lot of issues there, but it's a good time of year to think about if you're losing sleep when you switch savings time. How is your sleep patterns affecting your overall life?"

A sleep study was done on Randy Rice a year ago. The sleep clinic's chief lab technician had trouble sleeping because of health problems caused by his weight. His throat would close up at night and he'd stop breathing in his sleep.

"I'd wake up and kinda gasp for air [and I] was getting tired at work and I was having to get up and walk around a lot," said Rice.

Sleep disorder clients can adjust to the time change before it happens.

"One theory is - in the middle of the week prior to the change - start going to bed 15 minutes sooner and then that will get you back in line with what the clock's as you're working to the change," said Price.

Overweight people and the elderly are more likely to have a sleep disorder. Children with large tonsils that can block their airway may also have trouble sleeping.

Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin was the first hospital in East Texas to open a sleep lab back in 1994. Eighteen to 25-million people have sleep disorders, but less than a million of them know about it.