SURREY (NEWS 1130) — The effects of switching to Daylight Saving Time are most deeply felt on the Monday after the clock springs forward, and one doctor is sharing some tips on how to take the sting out of losing an hour of sleep.
Dr. Yvette Lu runs a family practice in Surrey, and she explains what the research shows.
“It’s important that we be very careful about our health and be mindful of our health after daylight savings because there have been studies that have shown increased numbers of car accidents, workplace injuries, and even suicides and heart attacks — as well as decreased work productivity — after the switch to daylight saving time, because we are losing an hour of sleep,” she says.
“It’s usually the Monday where we see the biggest number of effects on people’s performance and productivity, and the week after that.”
Lu says paying attention to what your body needs is key.
“What you can do is get extra rest. Make sure you take care of your body be really mindful of how tired you are,” she says.
“If you’re not aware, then you might find yourself not knowing why you feel more tired or why your productivity has decreased. When people are aware of something, then they’re more able to cope with any challenges that can come along.”
Lu says those who are already sleep-deprived and children who rely on strict routines will be hardest hit.
Getting to bed and waking up a little bit earlier on Saturday and Sunday nights is one way to help ease the transition.
“That will allow you to be a little bit, have less of a shock on Monday morning.”
Yu says now is a good time for people to consider the importance of so-called “sleep hygiene.”
“Sleep hygiene includes trying to wake up at the same time every morning and going to bed at the same time every night,” she says.
“It’s also important to stay away from light, and screens several hours before it’s bedtime because the light from the screens can activate the circadian centres in your brain and make your brain think that it’s morning.”
Soaking up whatever sunlight you can, getting exercise, and keeping the lights low at night time can also be a big help.