Daylight Savings Time Tips
Don’t forget to change your clocks! Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins March 8th at 2:00 am, so be sure to set all of your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday.
While forgetting to set your clock for DST can be irksome and inconvenient, there are more dangerous factors associated with springing forward an hour.
According to a 2012 University of Georgia study, the days immediately following DST are associated with a 10% increase in the risk of having a heart attack. Furthermore, two studies from British Columbia found that losing just one hour of sleep can greatly reduce driver alertness.
As amazing as it may seem, losing just one hour of sleep can greatly affect your internal clock or “circadian rhythms”, leading to impaired judgment, diminished alertness, and insomnia.
Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers has compiled some helpful and easy tips for coping with DST.
- Avoid caffeine. As difficult as it may be, try to limit your caffeine consumption in the days immediately following DST, by cutting back on your coffee/energy drink/stimulant of choice on groggy post-DST mornings, you will adjust to the time change more rapidly and decrease the negative effects.
- Be ready for dark morning commutes. After months of driving after sunrise, you should make sure that you are prepared for driving in the dark. Check that your headlights and tail lights are working. Additionally, wake up at least an hour before you plan on driving. Driving in the dark immediately after waking can greatly impair your ability to drive safely.
- Adjust your sleep cycle. The easiest way to avoid disrupting your circadian rhythms is to shift your sleep cycle during the week preceding DST. Begin going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than usual the week before DST so that you can minimize your sleep disturbance.
While there are some dangers associated with DST, it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, for many Angelinos, DST means the exact opposite: an extra hour to enjoy beautiful spring and summer afternoons and evenings. Whether you go for a run, enjoy an early evening barbecue, or take a sunset swim at the beach, you can greatly improve your mental and physical health by spending more time in the sun. The sun’s rays can reverse the depressive effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and provide much-needed Vitamin D. We at Tegner-Miller hope that you have a fun and sun-soaked spring! Don’t forget to use sunblock!