Worried about time change fatigue on the Monday after we switch to Daylight Savings Time (DST)? While we’ve practiced the biannual clock-flip for decades, this short 60 minute time-shift twerks our internal sleep schedules, reduces productivity and increases our risk for accidents and mistakes in the week following. Whether or not the time change shrinks our electricity bill is more questionable than the well-documented cost to our health.
According to the Better Sleep Council, turning the clocks ahead one hour, “generates a sleep-starved society of epidemic proportions.” Last year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that sleep deprivation is a public health epidemic. And it’s no surprise that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has declared Monday March 10th as Insomnia Awareness Day.
Why does setting our clocks back an hour in November feel like a gift while flipping them ahead in March feel like robbery? According to sleep experts, the spring time change disrupts our internal clock, our circadian rhythm, and the loss of one hour wreaks havoc on already sleep-deprived culture.
We’re literally starving for a good night’s sleep and that one extra hour forces an internal alarm. Our circadian rhythm (our internal clock) regulates cell growth and regeneration, hormone production and brain wave activity. Whether we’re traveling between time zones, doing shift work or setting clocks ahead an hour, when our chronobiological rhythms are disrupted, our sleep suffers.
When you wake up Sunday morning in a new time zone, your smart devices will smartly adjust to the new way of doing things on their own. But if you’re like me, your car, thermostat and microwave will remain out of sync for the next six months until we get that hour back. What happens to your body is another story…
While DST affects many of us so negatively, it doesn’t have to. Planning ahead for a quiet weekend will allow your body to adjust slowly and without the painful side effects. Try these tips – starting tonight – so you can plan for an energized Monday.
Still might want to be careful on the roads…
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