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Prepare to Spring Forward to Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings TimeThis weekend we will “Spring forward” to Daylight Savings Time on March 11.  I enjoy the longer days and more sunshine.

We can thank Benjamin Franklin for coming up with the idea of resetting clocks during the summer in order to save energy. The practice became widespread in 1918 as a way to reduce the number of hours homes needed to use lighting and electricity.

It became a federal law in the US in 1966, but some states opted out of observing it.  Arizona, American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands do not lose an hour during their days. Some protected lands of the Navajo Native American tribe in Arizona do observe the time change.

How Will This Affect You?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) messes with our body clock. According to studies, the 1-hour time change can trigger underlying health issues.

Changing the clocks does not create extra daylight, but it shifts the time the Sun rises and sets. This can cause disruptions to our body clock, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, people sleep about 40 minutes less on average on the night after the switch over to Daylight Savings Time.

Safety Issues

Did you know that the Monday after the Daylight Savings Time switch is dangerous for drivers and machine operators?

  • Tiredness induced by the clock change is thought to be the main cause for the increase in traffic accidents on the Monday following the start of DST.
  • On Mondays after the start of DST there were more workplace injuries, and the injuries were of greater severity compared with other Mondays.
  • Americans already sleep too little compared to the rest of the world, which has a stressful effect on your heart. A 2013 study conducted by the University of Colorado heart attacks increased by 24 per cent on the Monday after DST.
  • Swedish study found that the risk of having a heart attack increases in the first 3 weekdays after switching to DST in the spring.
  • Some also feel the time change trigger depression and other mental disorders.
  • Productivity decreases on the Monday after DST. (Employers be aware!)

How to Prepare for the Change

The time change is inevitable, but we can do several things to help our bodies adjust quickly:

  1. Set your alarm to wake up a little earlier than usual on the Friday and Saturday before the DST switch. This makes it easier to get out of bed on Monday morning.
  2. Go to bed 15 or 20 minutes prior to your normal bedtime.
  3. Food tells your body it is the start of the day. So eat a good breakfast.
  4. Go for a walk to help adjust your body clock.

Other Things to Remember

You will have to change the clocks in your house before going to bed on Saturday night.

Mobile phone and computer clocks change automatically.  You might want to click on the ‘Date and Time’ settings tab on your phone and make sure it is set to update on its own.

It Will End

We will go back to the other time on Sunday, November 6, 2018.  Then you get to sleep an extra hour.

So be safe out there as we “spring forward.”