Plan Ahead to Minimize Lost Daylight Saving Hour

In case you hadn’t heard, this is the weekend when Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States. Other countries also “spring forward” this weekend or in the coming weeks, with the European Union observing it on the last Sunday in March.  When Daylight Saving Time begins, we “spring forward” by moving our clocks forward one hour early Sunday morning, effectively losing an hour of sleep.  What it also means is that on Sunday and even Monday morning, millions of people will experience what amounts to jet lag.

According to a McMaster study, auto crashes on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins increase 17%.  These can be explained mostly by drivers whose circadian rhythms are telling them they’re up an hour earlier than they should be.

There ARE ways to prepare for the time switch, however.  Rather than (or perhaps in addition to) drinking an extra cup of coffee on Monday morning, try getting a little extra sleep on Friday and Saturday by going to bed earlier (not sleeping later).  This will start to adjust your body to the new time in advance.  Additionally, do your best to go to bed a early on Sunday night.

Another idea would be to just take public transportation on Monday.  This to allow another day to adjust and to avoid being on the road with the other motorists who are driving drowsy.