Daylight Savings Time Alert

March 11th, 2011

As Daylight Savings Time approaches, it is important to recognize the impact the time change may have on the health and safety of employees. Multiple studies have shown an uptick in both the frequency and severity of workplace injuries as well as an increase in traffic collisions the Monday following the spring time change. In particular, a Michigan State University study concluded that in the days following the Daylight Savings Time adjustment, subjects slept an average of 40 minutes less and had 5.7% more injuries. They also found that the same employees experienced 67.6% more lost work days as a result of those injuries when compared to injuries that occurred on days not following the time adjustment.

With these hazards in mind, the following are some tips for combating fatigue associated with the time change that you can share with coworkers:

Go to bed on the Daylight Savings Time schedule on Saturday night. Since this will put you to bed one hour earlier, you may not be able to sleep. If you can go to sleep earlier, that is preferable, but, if you cannot, do not fight it and just go to sleep at your usual Standard Time schedule.

No matter how you sleep on Saturday night, get up on Sunday morning on the new Daylight Savings time schedule. Sleeping in will only delay our adaption to the new schedule. The more you stabilize your wake time on Daylight Savings Time, the more rapid will be your adaption. This is the single most important thing you can do to help you adjust to the Daylight Savings Time.

When you get up, it is helpful to engage in a walk or some excercise to help your body wake up and establish itself on the earlier hour. Spending time in bright light or sunshine early in the morning will also be beneficial. If it is a nice day, a walk outside on Sunday morning will help you adjust.

Keep active on Sunday and avoid daytime napping.

Maintain a stable, regular sleep schedule on DST over the next few days. You should be able to adapt within 2 to 3 days.