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Spring forward: The sleep-deprived have the most to lose

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Sat, Mar 12th 2016 07:00 am

Average person may feel a bit 'jet-lagged,' UB clinical assistant professor says

By the University at Buffalo

Don't get stressed about losing an hour this weekend, advises Jennifer G. Henderson, D.O., clinical assistant professor in the department of medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo.

While everyone will notice the difference, those who don't sleep well will be most impacted.

"Those who already suffer from sleep disruption will likely see an uptick in their symptoms as they lose another hour of sleep," Henderson said. "It can exacerbate mood disorders and further disrupt sleep in patients suffering from dementia and/or insomnia."

Henderson, who completed a sleep fellowship at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, sees patients through UBMD Internal Medicine at its Sleep Medicine Clinic sites.

All of us will feel the time change, she says. "The average person will feel as though they are jet-lagged by one hour with increased fatigue, irritable mood, less productivity and increased likelihood of binge eating.

"Those who routinely get 7-8 hours of sleep a night will have the easiest time adapting. For most people, the symptoms will be annoying, but short-lived. Focusing on it too much may actually increase a person's anxiety surrounding the time change and exacerbate the situation."

Henderson concludes: "If you go to bed when you are sleepy, avoid stimulating activity and bright light before bedtime, and expose yourself to bright light first thing in the morning. You should be fine."

Founded in 1846, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo is beginning a new chapter in its history with the largest medical education building under construction in the nation. The eight-story, 628,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2017. The new location puts superior medical education, clinical care and pioneering research in close proximity, anchoring Buffalo's evolving comprehensive academic health center in a vibrant downtown setting. These new facilities will better enable the school to advance health and wellness across the life span for the people of New York and the world through research, clinical care and the education of tomorrow's leaders in health care and biomedical sciences. The school'sfaculty and residents provide care for the community's diverse populations through strong clinical partnerships and the school's practice plan, UBMD Physicians' Group.

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