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The Dangers of Daylight Saving Time

The time to set the clock ahead an hour for Daylight Saving Time (DST) is Sunday morning, March 14, 2021, at 2:00 a.m. Studies have shown you may also want to set your safety policies on high alert as the week after DST is notorious for vehicle accidents, increased heart attacks, and work injuries.

Why would setting a clock ahead one hour be such a dangerous practice? Many studies show that even a one-hour switch in a person's sleep pattern can make them inefficient and not as alert for at least five to seven days after DST, making them more susceptible to accidents.

So how can we all stay safe when it's likely that people's normal body rhythms will be out of synch for a few days after DST is in effect? Here are six tips to help keep you safe.

1. The Cleveland Clinic Academic Center advises people to start preparing for a change in their sleep patterns a couple of nights before DST. Go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime to make up for the lost hour after the night of DST's start.

2. The time change can mean your morning commute now has a sun glare. Be extra alert when driving and watch out for others who aren't used to looking around a windshield visor.

3. Now that it's lighter in the mornings, more students are walking to school, so be on the lookout for more pedestrians and bike riders. Be very vigilant for drivers if you're one of those pedestrians or bicyclists.

4. Set your alarm to wake up a little earlier than usual a couple of days before the switch, making it easier to get out of bed on Monday morning.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning as food is a signal for your body that it is the start of the day.

6. Don't schedule hazardous work for the days following the start of DST, but, if possible, plan for employees to do that work later in the week when they have time to catch up on their lost sleep and are used to their new sleep schedules.

It's been proven that the days following the onset of Daylight Saving Time are hazardous to our health, so be aware of the changes that will occur and their effect on your workplace, prepare for that change and enjoy the extra light in the morning!