Monday, March 10, 2014

The Monday After DST, Not Just Another Day

Hey friends, it's Monday morning again and we all know how that is.  Got to get off to work, get the kids back to school, start another week. In my case its the morning the trash goes out, so I spend Sunday night in a panic trying to cram all the trash into the city mandated containers. But that's every Monday right?

Well today isn't just any Monday.  Today is the Monday after Daylight Saving Time went into effect for most of the US. If you gave it any thought at all it was probably about how nice it will be to come home from work in something remotely resembling day light.

 But the truth of the matter is that today is one of the most dangerous days of the year, as a number of scientific studies have shown.

Traffic accidents, including fatal traffic accidents spike the Monday after DST.  So do heart attacks.  Workplace accidents also increase, both in number and severity. Suicide rates (for males) go up in the first weeks after DST too.

Why does all this happen? According to Marc Schlossburg of the Washington Hospital Sleep Center our circadian rhythms are totally thrown out of whack by the time shift.  Simply sleeping in on Sunday Morning isn't enough to reset them, especially as they are driven by light more than the clock.

Remember that daylight we will be  looking this evening? Well it means that most of us will head off to work and school in a world that is abruptly much darker than it was on Friday.  Most of us are setting out in that darkness sleep deprived and suffering from jet lag. No wonder we aren't as alert, and more likely to get into accidents.

There are some precautions we can take. If its dark when you leave for work, get out into the daylight as soon as possible, it helps reset your time clock.  Try going to bed a little early for the next few nights till your system adjusts. Most importantly, now that you know about the risks of the time change, try to be more careful and aware of the dangers. Take extra time with your commute, and with any complicated tasks.

Because we all know, its the little things we neglect that will get us in the end.


  1. Wow. That's fascinating to know. It takes me a good solid week to get back to normal! I'm going to let my husband know about the heart attacks. He works in cardiology so he might find that funny/interesting. Not that he finds heart attacks funny, but you know what I mean. ;)

    1. I know what you mean. I chose not to work overtime Monday morning because I know how the accident statistics can spike one this day.