Daylight Saving Time And Auto Collisions
When it comes to daylight savings, most people set their clocks ahead before they head to bed on Saturday. Isn’t it disconcerting when you wake up Sunday morning and wonder if your clock automatically adjusted the time for you?
That’s why I always change the battery-operated and digital clocks in the kitchen. You know, the stove, the microwave and the two battery-powered clocks on the wall. Don’t ask me why we need four clocks in the kitchen, but I find myself looking at each one depending on my position in the kitchen!
Do you find that spring ahead into daylight savings time messes with your own body clock? I know that the older I’ve gotten, the worse time I have adjusting. It takes me an entire week to re-adjust to losing an hour of sleep.
I’m certain that now, with the incredibly crazy schedules we have that are way to busy, losing that hour of sleep is a detriment to our health!
Imagine what the lost hour does for drivers…
Daylight Saving Time and Auto Collisions
Apparently, the first six days after Daylight Saving Time could be fatal on the roadways due to auto collisions.
I pulled this study reference from the Worcester, Mass. Telegram from last year. (If you click the link, it may ask you to answer a few survey questions!)
“A study, “Spring Forward at your Own Risk: Daylight Saving Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes” by Austin C. Smith at the University of Colorado Boulder, reported that in the first six days of daylight saving time there were 302 deaths and a cost of $2.75 billion over a 10-year period.”
This story in the Telegram is very well done and features several experts talking about the disruption in sleep patterns for drivers hitting the road to get to work. Apparently, the Monday following daylight saving time is purported to cause 17% of the auto collisions on the nation’s roadways.
The AAA Foundation says that drowsy drivers are a problem and especially after the time change occurs.
Tips to Manage Daylight Saving Time
If you have an early shift to work, say 5:30 a.m., get to bed an hour earlier and try to relax to fall asleep quickly.
De-stress with breathing exercises when you get your head on the pillow — in the nose out the mouth or in the nose and exhale out the nose.
Do not eat after 7 p.m. This causes your body to digest the food and work overtime. As you’re trying to relax and rest the body to rejuvenate the next day, instead your body is working harder when you’re supposed to be resting.
No caffeine or sugars in the evening! These are stimulants and are not helpful to restful sleep.
Forego exercise later in the evening. This also stimulates the brain into being more awake and you may have trouble falling asleep.
During the day, grab a cat nap, especially on the Monday following the time change. If you can’t, jump into bed earlier and just recline with a book or magazine!