Daylight Savings time can affect workplace health & safety 

A reminder that Daylight Savings Time is taking place this weekend on Sunday, March 12th where we “spring ahead” and advance our clocks forward by one hour. This means that we will all wake up one hour earlier than normal.

Even though losing one hour doesn’t seem like much, it impacts our circadian rhythms and can cause a disruption in our schedules for a few days. This in turn can affect our mental and physical health and increase the chances of accidents and injuries.

Sleep disturbance from the time change can cause workers to become more fatigued, experience headaches/migraines and can heighten feelings of depression, anxiety and mental exhaustion. Decrease in alertness, reaction time and decision-making ability all have the potential to affect our health and safety and the health and safety of those around us while at work, on the road or at home.

Help your body prepare for the time difference by considering the following tips: 

  • Gradually adjust your bedtime in the days leading up to the time change. By going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier every night and getting out of bed 10-15 minutes earlier, your body has more time to adjust.
  • On the evening of the time change, adjust your clocks forward by one hour and go to bed at your normal bedtime.
  • Don’t over-caffeinate for several hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid being late, which can cause you to rush. Prepare as much as you can the day before going to work (e.g. prepare breakfast/lunch the day before)
  • Morning hours will be darker which may affect your commute into work.
  • Fatigue slows down your reaction time on the road so remain alert and avoid driving if drowsy or tired.
  • Check in with your co-workers to see if they are experiencing any impact from the time change.