Joan CampderrÓs-i-Canas, "Jo@net" via Flickr
This Sunday, March 10, many Americans will flirt with danger by changing their clocks to "spring forward" one hour. The Better Sleep Council took a survey that shows less sleep can lead to problems.
Work will be affected. "More than half (61 percent) of U.S. adults say they feel the effects of daylight saving time the Monday after resetting their clocks," the survey says. "Seventy-four percent of workers over 30 who report not getting adequate sleep say sleepiness affects their work."
Morale will drop. Thirty-nine percent say daylight savings time affects their mood
Accidents will increase. Four percent admit the lack of sleep actually got them into an accident. Nine percent they fell asleep in a meeting or while driving.
Weirdness will abound. Some people told the survey they did things such as:
- Got in the shower with underwear on.
- Put soap in the baby bottle.
- Went to the ATM to order food.
- Walked into the wrong bathroom.
- Went to work on a day off.
- Put clothes on inside-out.
- Put paycheck in garbage.
Fox News went to Dr. Shelby Harris of New York's Montefiore Medical Center for advice on how to deal with daylight saving time.
"Starting on Wednesday the week before ... go to bed and wake up 15 minutes earlier every day — so Wednesday night you'll go to bed at 10:45 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.," Harris said. "Instead of waking up at 7 a.m., wake up at 6:45 a.m. Then do 10:30 (p.m.) with a 6:30 (a.m.) wake up, and just go to bed 15 minutes earlier each day. When the clock changes you're actually on the new schedule."
This jives with advice from the Better Sleep Council, which advises taking naps when you get sleepy, committing to 7-8 hours of sleep, keeping regular sleep hours, exercising during the day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and only eating lightly before going to bed.
Earth 911 explained why people have to suffer through the "spring forward" blues. Daylight saving time is to save energy consumption. "It's a relatively simple idea: If we set our clocks an hour ahead, we can make the most of the longer periods of daylight during summer, gaining an extra hour of sunlight in the evening when we can spend time outside of the house and avoid using home lighting and appliances," Earth 911 says. "If we don't move the clocks forward, we waste that additional hour of sunlight in the morning, which may occur before many of us have even gotten out of bed."
Apparently the Department of Energy found that 2007's l2-months-longer daylight saving reduced national electricity usage by an additional 0.5 percent per day. This fact, however, doesn't make it a popular idea when Monday morning's alarm clock goes off. Just watch out for the cat when you get out of bed.
Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10. It is permissible to set the clock forward before that time.
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