Did you know? There is a huge difference between the “society clock” and the “biological clock” we all work from. Be alert! Studies have found that accidents increase after the clocks fall back an hour to standard time.
According to various safety resources, changes in waking time coupled with the earlier onset of darkness due to seasons changing throws off our internal clocks. This increases safety risks, primarily because in our 24/7 active society, we already have a fundamental sleep deprivation problem.
The end of Daylight Savings Time (which began on March 11) is November 4 this year. Moving our clocks back an hour can leave many individuals feeling fatigued and pose safety risks, both at home and in the workplace. Some things to keep in mind when switching back to standard time are:
FATIGUE| Studies suggest that it takes people who work traditional hours several days to fully readjust their sleep schedule after the time change. While it may seem a welcome gift to get an extra hour of sleep as opposed to losing an hour in the spring, there is a physiological consequence to changing our clocks. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit sluggish during the first full week or so of November.
ACCIDENTS| Evidence also suggests that time changes increase safety problems both at work and at home. Just being aware of the increased risk of accidents in the period immediately following the time change may help you stay alert. Try to avoid building up a sleep debt in the days before the change.
TIPS FOR ADJUSTING BACK TO STANDARD TIME:
Wake Up at a Normal Time | Many people see the extra hour as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in longer. But sleeping through the Sunday morning sunlight can leave you feeling out of sorts for the start of the week.
Eat well and Exercise | An active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleep, so get outside for some fresh air and exercise.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep Sunday Night | Still have extra time to kill Sunday? Try to hit the sack at your usual bedtime, even though it will be dark one hour earlier.
Know That Your Body Will Adjust | It might take a few days to feel 100 percent normal but fear not, your body will adjust to the new light-dark cycle.
Following these simple tips can help you better adjust back to standard time. Additionally, just being aware of the elevated risk of accidents linked to falling back an hour this time of year can help keep you safer, both in the workplace and at home!