A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine identified a small but significant increase in fatal car accidents on US roads on the Monday after the switch to daylight savings time.
Other research has linked the start of daylight savings to increased rates of heart attacks, strokes, and workplace injuries, all likely caused by the disruption of the clocks springing forward.
Losing one hour of sleep doesn’t sound like a big deal, but our body clocks are finely tuned machines that don’t like being knocked out of their sleep cycles. It’s true most of us probably won’t be badly harmed by the start of daylight savings — but when you’re sleepier and less alert, extra care is warranted.
“It’s really important for people to be aware that the highest risk is those first few days, the first day or two particularly,” Sleep Health Foundation psychologist Moira Junge tells Coach.
“That one hour [of lost sleep] needs to be taken into consideration, especially if you’re driving the next day or doing other things where you have to concentrate.”
The good news is it should only take a week for your body clock to reset to its summertime cycle — and potentially faster if you act ahead of time to “lessen the blow”.