Though you might be glad about the imminent arrival of spring, some people aren’t as excited about spring’s counterpart: Daylight Saving Time.
Every year, Daylight Saving Time jolts us out of bed an hour earlier in the mornings.
Some people love Daylight Saving Time, providing an extra hour to enjoy outdoor activities after work, while others do not enjoy the hour of sleep lost.
With this in mind, one might wonder — are there any benefits to daylight savings time? And is there a loss of productivity or any other risks associated with DST?
Reasons for Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time was adopted in 1895, and the benefits include a boost in retail sales and more sunlight for sports and other activities after working hours. The U.S. Department of Transportation says a study shows Daylight Saving Time cuts electricity usage by 1%.
Also, studies show daylight saving has been said to boost tourism and cuts down on crime such as burglaries.
Read more: 10 things to know about daylight saving time
Increase in injuries, loss of productivity
But, as it turns out, Daylight Saving Time is actually a bit dangerous.
The New York Times reported that in a study of mining workers, there was a spike in workplace injuries of nearly 6% on the Monday following the shift to Daylight Saving Time.
Also, according to a study presented to the American College of Cardiology, there is a 25% jump in heart attacks the Monday after we spring forward, ‘It may mean that people who are already vulnerable to heart disease may be at greater risk right after sudden time changes,’ said Amneet Sandhu, M.D.
In addition, research shows there are more traffic fatalities associated with the time changes. Time Magazine reported that avoiding daylight saving time in the evening year-round would save the lives of over 170 pedestrians annually.
Finally, there is the loss of productivity. Researchers found that for every hour of sleep lost, workers ‘cyberloafed,’ that is, wasted time on the Internet, for 20% of their assigned task. The cost to the American economy is estimated to be over $434 million annually, but unfortunately, we don’t recoup that lost productivity when we regain the extra hour in the fall.
Tips for a smooth Daylight Saving Time transition
Although daylight savings time isn’t going away anytime soon, here are some ways you can prepare yourself for a better Monday the day after.
- The Better Sleep Council recommends going to bed 15 minutes earlier the days before DST and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
- Take short naps on the days following DST.
- Exercise has been shown to help you have a better night’s sleep, so be sure to exercise on the days before and after.
- The National Sleep Foundation recommends starting a relaxing bedtime ritual to unwind.
- The NSF also recommends avoiding the use of electronic devices just before bed.
- In addition, be sure to sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Listen to calming music before bed to prepare yourself to go to sleep earlier. (These apps can help!)
Though Daylight Saving Time may not be ideal while it’s happening, trying these tips can help you adjust to the new schedule.