Springing Forward: How To Safely Adjust to Daylight Savings Time

I take place once a year and my arrival is often bittersweet. When I arrive an hour of daylight is gained but at first an hour of sleep is lost, and if you live in Arizona or Hawaii then you won’t observe me. What am I?

If you answered Daylight Savings Time (DST), then you’re correct. This year, Daylight Savings Time officially began last Sunday at 2 a.m. At this time, the official time on clocks was rolled forward one hour.

According to the website timeanddate.com, Daylight Savings Time was originally observed in an effort to minimize energy usage. In 1916, Germany was the first official country to observe DST and the United States followed suit in 1918.

Today, Daylight Savings Time is observed by a total of 70 countries worldwide including the United States. However, some states such as Hawaii and Arizona, as well as Saskatchewan and a few other Canadian provinces choose not to partake in DST.

Some may joke about their loss of sleep, but there are more serious negative consequences associated with the time change. A recent study conducted by the University of Colorado found a strong correlation between the loss of sleep caused by the initial Daylight Savings Time time change and fatal car accidents.

While we normally blog about fatigue issues associated with standing, walking, or kneeling for extended periods of time, this week we felt it was appropriate to explore different ways you can reduce the effects of the recent time change:

  1. Exercise, the release of Serotonin helps fight fatigue.
  2. Adjust your eating schedule so your body has enough time to digest food before sleep.
  3. Reserve time to nap. Just make sure it’s not to close to bedtime.
  4. If possible, keep your regular sleep hours.
  5. Gradually transition. This is especially important if you have kids.

Bonus tip: Daylight savings time is also a great time to check the batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors.

From all of us here at SATECH, we hope you have a safe week adjusting to the time change.