Health Watch — Sleep Disorders: Resetting the Clock

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about sleep disorders. Even those of us who don’t have serious problems such as insomnia or sleep apnea may occasionally struggle with sleep, especially when we have to adjust our bedtimes or waking up times after holidays or when going to a different time zone.

Dr. John Herman, a sleep expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s easier to adjust your wake-up time than your bedtime. If you try to go to bed earlier than usual, you may have trouble falling asleep, and you’ll just be frustrated. Instead, adjust your wake-up time. Then the next night you’ll be sleepy earlier and can change your bedtime. You may be a bit groggy that first day, so it’s best to start making the adjustment before you need to be ready earlier in the morning. To avoid having to make that adjustment every Monday morning, try to keep your weekend sleep schedule close to your weekday schedule.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in sleep and breathing disorders.


January 2008

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