The Dark Side of Daylight Saving Time
The Dark Side of Daylight Saving Time
Daylight savings time or spring jump is the time of the year most people dread. Simply put, it is when some countries in Europe and the US increase their time by one hour as a means to save daylight. It usually occurs around March and ends in November. In this article, we will cover the effects daylight savings have on sleep and how we can successfully overcome the period of adjustment.
Drawbacks of Daylight Saving Time
Daylight saving time has a lot of drawbacks on the human body and how we perceive the day. Although there are numerous ways it can affect us, we will be touching on some significant points that will highlight these drawbacks correctly. Since its adoption, the time switch has been responsible for almost ~400 million dollars in lost economic revenue yearly due to productivity-related tips. Daylight savings time has been shown by a study to severely affect employee productivity up to a few weeks after the switch. This is one common drawback that plagues the business world.
Another research has shown that a switch to daylight saving time affects decision making and impairs judgment. This is because, during the switch, less and fewer people get a full night's rest, and lack of adequate sleep will result in total fatigue and poor decision making. The time shift that occurs during the 'spring jump' as it is fondly called also affects concentration levels because a good night's rest is essential for adequate concentration the following day. This will, therefore, affect the output of the majority of adults who struggle to find sleep and would be required to get out of bed earlier than they usually will.
The most deadly blow of the daylight savings time is the change in sleeping patterns. Our body clocks are different from the time clocks, so we cannot just move it forward as we do with the time clocks. It takes a few days or weeks for people to adjust to the new time zone and until the majority of people find it hard to get a good night's sleep. At least 30% of Americans will sleep 40 minutes less than their usual sleeping time, and some others will lose up to one or one and a half hours of sleep.
How to Stay on Top of Things
Yes, daylight saving time may affect your output and general productivity and sleep, but there are ways with which you can use to manage your time better. Here is a list of tips you can use to get the most out of your day:
- Make a list of all the tasks you have to do the night before and, if possible, set a time limit to them. This will keep you on track during the day and prevent you from spending more time than usual on a task. This way, you can finish all you have to do in record time so you can catch that extra hour or two of sleep by going to bed earlier than you usually do.
- Solve all pressing needs at work firsthand to avoid any spillovers. This will prevent you from taking work home and give you more time to work on other projects or just relax. Also, avoid undertaking further extra action with you, at least until your body has fully adjusted to the time change.
- Remove anything affecting your sleep, including work overload, TV time, gaming, and other activities that will cut into your sleep time. Ensure you practice proper sleeping etiquette and go to bed as early as possible. Plan your day to ensure you can go to bed an hour earlier than you used to.
- Remove all electronics from your sleeping area to avoid distractions. Phones, tablets, and other devices should be banished from the bedroom. The light from the screen blocks the release of melatonin, which is responsible for falling asleep.
- Reduce the amount of caffeine and sugar you take daily and improve your physical output during the day. Data gathered from studies show a direct correlation between physical activity and sleep. The more exercise your body gets during the day, the better you will sleep at night.
Daylight savings can be a real pain, primarily when it is first implemented. The first few weeks are usually the hardest as they take a bit of time for people to adjust. Take good care of your sleeping health as there are negative consequences that will affect your work-life balance if you do not fit appropriately. Take the steps we have mentioned in this article to ensure you do not feel the impact of the time shift as much.
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