Don’t forget to spring forward March 8th at 2 a.m. for Daylight Saving Time. When we spring forward to daylight saving time, we lose an hour of sleep. Losing even an hour of sleep can be tough on our bodies and can seriously impair our ability to drive. In fact, research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep nearly double their risk of a crash. However, there are ways you can reduce the impact and risks. Below are 7 tips to help you get through the time loss.
- Gradually go to bed earlier leading up to the time change
Start going to bed early and put your children to bed, about 15 minutes each night, leading up to the change in clocks. It will give your body a chance to acclimatize sooner.
- Adjust the timing of other daily routines. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that in addition to going to bed early, you should also adjust daily routines that are “time cues” for your body. For example, eating meals a touch earlier each day.
- Spring forward in the early evening on Saturday. Set your clocks to spring forward early Saturday evening, then go to sleep at your “regular” bedtime. Avoid sleeping in an hour longer in the mornings. If it is sunny early morning on Sunday, go outside. Your internal clock will adjust on its own in several days.
- If you have the option to work from home, this is the ideal day (or two) to take advantage of it to steer clear of the commute. If you have a flex schedule you may want to consider commuting outside of rush hour. That way, you can avoid other drivers who might be feeling the effects of a lack of sleep.
- Don’t drive distracted. Important no matter what time of year but always worth the reminder. Turn the music down, drink your coffee at the office (or at home), don’t take breakfast or your afternoon snack to go, and save whatever business you have on your phone for later (even if it is hands-free).
- Don’t forget your sunglasses. The shift in time may mean that you’re now driving home while the sun is still bright or during sun glare hours.
- If you are tired, take a short nap in the afternoon — not too close to bedtime. Stick to your normal bedtime on Sunday too.
Do you have any Daylight Saving Time tips of your own? Share them with us!