Daylight Saving Time begins on March 10, 2019 at 2:00 a.m. So, don’t forget to move your clocks forward one hour on Saturday night! For many Americans, the loss of sleep can impact focus, productivity, and self awareness. Past studies have shown that Daylight Saving Time was the culprit of the increase in car and work related accidents the week after Daylight Saving Time began. The best way to prevent injury? Appropriate self care. Below are tips to help you make the transition into the time change.
- Sleep. Be sure to get plenty of rest the week before, and the week after Daylight Saving Time starts. On average, Americans go to bed 40 minutes later than their normal bedtime the week of the Spring time change. Studies suggest that Americans should be doing the exact opposite. Your body needs at least six days to adjust to the change. Try to go to sleep earlier than you normally would during the time change. Squeeze a nap in during the day if your body requires it.
- Minimize Distractions and Avoid Multi-Tasking. Prior to leaving the driveway, make all required adjustments to your mirrors, lights, seatbelt, and electronics. Taking your eyes off the road for a second will put you at risk for involvement in an accident. Do not text, post on social media, or talk on the phone. You should also not treat your car as a restaurant, bathroom, or mobile office. If you know that you will have several tasks to complete prior to hitting the road, be sure to allocate extra time to address those tasks. The car should only be for driving. Be extra vigilant of traffic and pedestrians on the roadway.
- Sunlight. The days are getting longer, so be sure to take note of sun glare on your morning and evening commutes home from work. If sun glare bothers you, bring sunglasses along, or map out a different route to your destination.
- Stick to a Routine. Get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat healthy meals. Your body will readily adapt to a rhythm if you create a schedule and perform tasks around the same time every day. Exercising is important, because it will expose you to the sun and the outdoors, which will assist in helping your body adjust to the time change. Exercise will also help you sleep soundly. Eating balanced meals will give you plenty of energy and keep you focused. Be sure to include your family in the wellness plan, too!
Following these tips will help you to be mindful of your health and driving during the transition. Enjoy the extra sunlight!