Daylight Savings Time and Your Health

Ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted Daylight Savings Time in 1942, Americans have been setting their clocks – spring forward, fall back – to account for seasonal changes in light.

Blue alarm clock

But Daylight Savings Time (DST) doesn’t come without some health effects. Studies show there is an increase in both heart attacks and road accidents in the days after DST in the spring, with a 6 percent increase in vehicle crashes immediate after resetting clocks in March. Workplace injuries also increase by 5.7 percent on Monday following the time change. The time change can also disrupt sleep cycles, leading to restless nights and sleepiness and irritability during the day.

 

There are ways to cope with potential side effects of Daylight Savings Time. Try these tips from the experts at the DCMC Sleep Facility to minimize effects on your safety, mood and health. And above all, remember: come fall, we’ll get that hour back!

  • Eat a healthy breakfast the day of DST, including protein.
  • Avoid caffeine and other stimulants after lunch.
  • Try not to nap in the day or two following DST.
  • Wake a bit earlier on the Friday and Saturday preceding the DST switch.
  • Get some sun: exposing yourself to natural light helps your body reset.
  • Help your child adjust by making bedtime a bit earlier the week before DST.