Council: Get ready to feel effects of sleep loss

Published On: Mar 06 2013 01:53:07 PM EST
ORLANDO,Fla. -

This Sunday, that dreaded "spring forward" motto of Daylight Saving Time hits home.

We change our clocks one hour forward, a chunk of time that, according to the Better Sleep Council, many Americans "will subtract directly from their sleep schedule given today’s busy lifestyles."

And losing an hour of sleep can have a big impact in the midst of what the Center of Disease Control has called a "sleep epidemic in America."

The Sleep Council researchers found the Monday after we “spring ahead” has a trail of issues linked to lack of sleep:

  • Workers are less productive
  • 74% of workers over 30 who report not getting adequate sleep say sleepiness affects their work
  • We see an increase in traffic/machine accidents
  • 4% admit to actually getting into traffic accidents due to lack of sleep
  • There are measurable changes in attitude and morale
  • 39% of U.S. adults claim that daylight saving time affects their mood
  • U.S. adults typically feel the effects of daylight saving time for days
  • 40% of U.S. adults say it takes them more a week or more to get back to normal after resetting their clocks

The council found that people do "some odd things" when they are sleep deprived.

Topping the list: throwing away paychecks or, believe it or not, "wearing underwear in the shower."

The Sleep Council does offer solutions to handle the time change transition.

The top five include:

  1. Gradually Transition into the Time Change: Go to bed 15 minutes early, starting several days before the change.
  2. Sleepy? Take a Quick Nap:  Take a short nap in the afternoon – no more than 20 minutes long.
  3. Commit to 7-8 Hours of Sleep:  Work backward from your wake time and commit to getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
  4. Keep Regular Sleep Hours: Make sleep a priority by keeping consistent sleep (bedtime) and wake schedules -- even on the weekends.
  5. Exercise During the Day:  Just make sure you don’t work out within two hours of bedtime.

Get more tips and strategies at bettersleep.org.

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