Each and every year we are hit with daylight savings time. This is done in an attempt to “spring” us forward an hour, pun intended, with the reasoning that we will get extended sunny days. While this really does sound like a great thing, it can be a bit taxing on our systems and internal clocks. The downside to daylight savings time is that people are affected adversely by a lack of sleep oftentimes. This creates perfect conditions for things like auto accidents, missed or forgotten appointments, insomnia, nervousness and even an overall feeling of depression for some.
The feeling people get during this time of year is akin to that of jetlag. The feeling does pass of course, but what do we do in the meantime to help keep ourselves and our families safe? Because the time change leaves some people deprived of sleep as a result of a complete change in their internal clocks, the occurrence for accidents of all types is much higher. Statistics gathered over the years have shown that people tend to make many more mistakes when they are overtired, some of them resulting in severe, even life threatening consequences.
On the gentler side of things people may forget to move their clocks, putting their jobs in jeopardy by arriving late. Of course this could lead to other problems such as fender benders as a result of being on the rush to get somewhere they have only minutes to arrive at. This creates stress which in turn can lead to health issues as well. Many people report their week during the beginning of daylight savings time to be hectic and chaotic.
Many studies have shown a distinct increase in the number of accidents that occur on the roadways during this first week of daylight savings time. There could be many contributing factors there such as the sun being in your face at a time in normally would not, being confused as a result of a lack of sleep and just the overall feeling that something is not normal. Any variation, even the slightest can really throw people off when driving at specific times. Ideally, humans enjoy change that is gradual as a rule, and not change that comes on suddenly. This is why many experts are making suggestions for people this year to try and ward off those issues.
One recommendation is that you go outside and stand in the sun for a few minutes before starting your day, for at least three minutes. This may work with the chemical melatonin in your brain and help you to perk up a bit. Another suggestion is to begin going to bed a bit earlier in the days prior to daylight savings time. Of course for those of us coming in now it is too late for that. However, we can try and hit the sack an hour early tonight if it is possible. In addition to everything mentioned above the risk of heart attack could also be increased during this time of year for reasons that remain unclear as of now. It is probably a safe guess to assume stress is related though.
The time change will occur on Sunday at about 2AM. If you have somewhere to go that day make sure you are prepared for the fact that other drivers may be in a hurry or discombobulated. Leave a bit earlier than you would normally leave and drive slowly. If you become frazzled or feel you need a nap, indulge yourself if it is at all possible. If you can get through the first week unscathed, the rest of the time should go smoothly.