Be ready for potential impacts of switch to DST
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Clocks will be skipping an hour ahead this weekend, and officials are urging people to be prepared for the impacts of the change.
The Blue Ridge Health District says the switch to Daylight Saving Time can affect a person’s circadian rhythm and sleep quality.
The circadian rhythm, or the human sleep-wake cycle, is better aligned with standard time, not DST.
BRHD says this one-hour shift can result in chronic sleep loss over time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one in three Americans is sleep-deprived because they get less than the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep a day.
Additionally, the darker morning commute may lead to more drowsy drivers on the road.
“When the time changes, sleep cycles are interrupted and drivers can be more tired than they realize,” said Morgan Dean, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson. “Losing one hour of sleep takes an adjustment and drivers need to prepare by getting more rest, especially on Sunday.”
AAA says a recent survey found 95 percent of drivers view drowsy driving as a serious threat, but 19 percent also admit to driving when they were so tired that they struggled to keep their eyes open.
Officials offer a few tips to make the time change easier beyond prioritizing sleep.
One tip suggests going to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier each night before the change to help the body adjust.
People should also maintain their normal bedtime after the shift, and if necessary, make their bedroom a dark environment so that light later in the day does not impact them.
For drivers, they are asked to be extra careful after the change because children will be going to school and may be harder to see in the morning hours.
AAA says 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur when it's dark out.
Anyone who is walking in areas without sidewalks needs to walk facing traffic and wear bright clothing so they can be more easily seen.
DST ends on Nov. 5.