7 Things Daylight Saving Time Throws Out of Whack
As you “spring forward” for Daylight Saving Time (DST) — and lose a precious hour of sleep — you might wonder what else goes haywire when the clock skips an hour.
More than you might expect! Here are six things you can, uhh, look forward to, and what you can do about them.
1. You might feel hungrier
Getting enough quality sleep helps regulate your hormones, including those that signal feelings of satiety and spur your body to fat. Don’t be surprised if you feel like having an extra snack, and keep in mind that overeating while you’re overtired can make you more susceptible to weight gain, experts say.
Focus on eating mindfully, keeping a food journal, drinking water, and making healthy food choices.
3. You may slack off at work
The cost of our national “lost hour” of sleep is nearly $434 million in productivity and healthcare, according to SleepBetter.org. A major contributing factor appears to be an increase in “cyberloafing” or non-work-related web browsing, which sounds a lot like a typical Friday.
4. Accidents at work go up
It’s no surprise that workplace accidents increase by over 5% (according to a 20+ year study of mining accidents) the Monday after DST begins, when most people are feeling groggy, sluggish, and less alert. What’s worse, those accidents were found to be more severe, costing 68% more lost work days.
Instead of loading up on caffeine, which can make you crash, burn, and race toward the vending machine, drink more water and try taking a walk after lunch to feel more alert.
5. People have more heart attacks and strokes
Studies also show that the numbers of heart attacks and strokes rise when we adjust our clocks. Strokes go up by 8 percent the Monday after DST. This may mean that people who are already vulnerable to heart disease may be at greater risk right after sudden time changes, says Amneet Sandhu, M.D., one of the study researchers. And heart attacks? One study in Michigan showed they’d risen a whopping 25 percent compared to other Mondays during the year.
Talk to your doctor, if you’re concerned about your risk.
6. The vibe at home might feel tense
This might be the perfect time to plan a few family de-stressing activities, like playing a game everyone loves, baking together, or renting a movie.
7. Crime goes down
If you’re looking for a DST upside, here it is: Crime rates go down, notably for burglaries. Criminals have one hour less of evening darkness to skulk around, experts say.
How can you take advantage? Spend that time outside your now-safer home; head to a local park or hit a hiking trail after dinner. Research shows that exposure to nature may increase sleep duration, lower stress, and more. Sounds like a plan—meet you outside.