It's Day Light Saving Time Again!
Is Your Health and Safety at Risk?

Research shows that during the Day Light Saving Time transition period, you are at risk for increased accidents, heart attacks and problems in the workplace. 

Considering most of us are already severely sleep deprived, it's not too difficult to accept that this additional hour of  lost  sleep is bound to affect our moods, health and safety.

In research by Stanley Coren, Ph.D., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Dr.Coren states: "... the spring shift to Daylight Saving Time , and the concomitant loss of one hour of sleep, resulted in an average increase in traffic accidents of approximately 8 percent".

Drs. Imre Janszky of the Karolinska Institute and Rickard Ljung of the National Board of Health and Welfare, in Stockholm, Sweden cited in The New England Journal of Medicine a 5% increase in heart attacks in the first three workdays after clocks were advanced for Daylight Saving Time in the spring.

The effect of the spring transition to Daylight Saving Time on heart attack rates was slightly greater for women than men and more pronounced in people under age 65.

Day light saving time2

Drs. Janszky and Ljung state: "Our data suggest that vulnerable people might benefit from avoiding sudden changes in their biologic rhythms".

Greg Murray from Melbourne, Australia's Swinburne University of Technology said the change can introduce some short-term risks and challenges. An analysis of workplace accidents shows almost a 6% increase in the week following the time-switch, attributed to reduced alertness caused by loss of sleep.

And haven't we all experienced how sleep deprivation affects mood and cooperation   ... kids, partners, friends, co-workers, other drivers?

Let's check your pre-Day Light Saving Time transition mood:

Mood Tester

1) Before Daylight Saving Time transition, click on the alarm below to test for your mood and tolerance of this annoying sound. (Rate yourself between 1 and 10 ... 1 =" It's tolerable" -- 10 = "Would toss the alarm across the room, if I could"

2) Next, imagine your first Monday morning after the clocks "spring forward".  You've just been robbed of an hour of precious sleep and you've got a demanding day/week ahead ––  How's your mood now?

Daylight Saving Time

... and it only gets worse ... unless there's a better way ... and fortunately there is!

Make Your Day Light Saving Time Healthier and Safer

How important is it to you and your family that you:

  • avoid increased health and safety risks
  • remain alert
  • improve your mood and tolerance
  • stress less about facing your work load
  • cope with your family challenges

It's possible to make this year's Day Light Saving Time transitioning experience a healthier and safer one, as Drs. Janszky and Ljung recommend.

The following tips will help to lessen sudden changes in your biologic rhythms while adapting to your new "time zone".

But, you've got to  take action now!

Here's how:

  • Prior to the official Day Light Saving Time, start conditioning yourself four to five days in advance. Change your evening routine (eat your dinner and go to bed 10–15 minutes earlier). Continue this (eating and going to bed 10–15 minutes earlier than the previous night) for the next few evenings. Waiting until the weekend will be too late! ... need a reminder of that annoying alarm sound come Monday a.m.? 
  • Treat Daylight Saving Time as you would jet lag*. Advancing routines prior to actually being in the new time zone has been used by savvy travelers and pilots for years.
  • Take a brisk walk. This stimulates your serotonin production that helps you adjust to the time change.
  • Get an hour to two of daily natural outdoor light. Light boxes often used by people suffering from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affected Disorder) are also effective. This helps reset your biological clock.
  • Take a melatonin supplement to help boost your natural melatonin production. (Be sure to check with your health practitioner first.)
  • If possible avoid caffeine and alcohol. At a minimum, stop drinking caffeine by noon and alcohol four hours prior to bedtime.

*Jet lag symptoms can include—trouble concentrating and making decisions, sleepiness, fatigue, lethargy, irritability, sometimes diarrhea or appetite loss.

Optimize your Vitality, Health, Safety and Longevity

Don't stop practicing these healthy sleep habits you've started because you've got through the Daylight Saving Time transition period. You and your family will gain long-term benefits from improved vitality, health, safety and longevity if you continue to regularly practice some simple sleep tips.

Try these:

  • Program going to bed earlier (small 5-10 minute increments) for the whole family .
  • Strive for 7- 8 hours sleep every night. For instance, if you have to be up at 5:30 a.m., you'll have  to be in bed and be asleep by 10:30 p.m.
  • Go to bed the same time and wake at the same time (including weekends).
  • additional beneficial sleep hygiene tips can be found here

Changing your sleep habits for a healthier and happier future does require some determination and consistency ; however, the amazing benefits are well worth it ... and so are you and your family.

Return to Sleep Hygiene from Day Light Saving Time

Learn about innovative health benefits for sleep deprived workers

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