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Daylight Savings Time and your personal safety

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

At 2 a.m. on November 6, 2016 your clocks will move back one hour, giving everyone an additional hour of sleep. Usually most Americans truly enjoy this day in November when we reset our clocks backwards because of Daylight Savings Time (DST) versus the springing forward an hour which occurs the second Sunday in March. Yes, most nestle themselves a little deeper in their pillows when they realize that extra hour of sleep, but should be aware of behaviors which occur later that same day or that first week of DST change. Sleep experts say that spending an extra hour after sunrise will do you few favors in the long run. The body clock is a cluster of neurons deep inside the brain that generates the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours, but it’s not precise. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of that first day and first week and how our awareness can help us make some possible needed adjustments. Please know that many individuals require very little, if any, adjustments.

The Journal of Applied Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association, reminds us that our minds know the time has changed; our bodies need a little time to readjust to our daily activities. Therefore, some people recommend that you begin a couple of days earlier adjusting your schedule based upon the upcoming time change. This will be especially helpful if you have children.

Go to bed at your regular time instead of staying up later anticipating the time change the next day. It would be best to wake up at your normal time that Sunday morning instead of taking that extra hour of sleep. Keeping your schedule will help make you less irritable the first week. This is especially true when it comes to very young children.

When you begin work after the DST changes the first week, be aware that you may become a little cranky when your lunchtime is an hour later or become tired at work/school because the day appears to be dragging on longer. This is to be expected the first few days of the time change.

Days become dark a lot sooner often as you’re getting off from work. The National Road Safety Foundation has done studies proving that auto accidents increase because of a lack of visibility during this time. You should be cautious when driving around dusk during rush hour traffic looking out for pedestrians.

Talk with your doctor with regards to your prescription medication if you must take them at a designated time, especially if you’re diabetic. You should call your doctor(s) several days prior to DST change.

Let’s make sure you’re the best you can be after the time reset by Keeping an Eye on Safety.