When we switch to Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, we’ll continue a 100-year tradition of “springing forward and falling back.” Originally adopted as a way to conserve energy, moving the clocks ahead each spring is not universally used. In fact, fewer than half of the world’s countries adopt this system where we lose an hour of sleep once a year.
Our collective loss of sleep has serious consequences. According to National Geographic, on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time (DST) starts, heart attacks spike 25 percent; car accidents jump by 17 percent; workplace accidents increase 6 percent; and, productivity goes down. Sleep deprived workers are more likely to call in sick; those who do come in often find it difficult to concentrate.
Today, the biggest benefit of DST is not energy savings but the fact that we get to take advantage of natural light long into the evening over the summer months. This is a boon for outdoor businesses like golf courses and for recreation after work hours. Whether you like the time change or not, here are some ways to mitigate the negative repercussions.
Schedule potentially dangerous jobs later
If you can, reschedule potentially dangerous jobs for later in the week when you and your employees will be better rested.
Adjust in 15-minute increments
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than the day before on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the weekend DST takes effect. You’ll be more rested on Monday morning.
Shift your Saturday schedule
On Saturday pretend it’s already an hour ahead. If you usually don’t have caffeine after 3 p.m., on Saturday stop at 2 p.m.
Let the light shine in
To help reset your circadian rhythms, open your curtains or blinds right when you wake up. This will signal to your brain that it’s time to get up and going.
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