The loss of an hour’s sleep when the clocks go forward at 2am on a Sunday in March may seem little more than a minor inconvenience, but it can actually pose genuinely serious health risks and threats of accidents and personal injuries.
Can daylight saving time increase the chances of accidents at work?
In short, yes it can. academic research has shown that the likelihood of traffic accidents and workplace injuries increases on the first Monday following the daylight saving time shift.
This is due, in part, to the fact that people get, on average, 40 minutes less sleep the night before than they otherwise would normally do.
Can daylight saving time cause problems with stress?
As well as the dangers of physical injuries from accidents in the workplace, workers are also at an increased risk of stress-related illnesses at this time of year.
There are very few areas of health that are untouched or unaffected by sleep. Emotions and memory are also affected and someone who is deprived of sleep in terms of both quality and quantity may well find that their brain is operating inefficiently.
Even something as apparently minor as an hour’s alteration can make all the difference, especially as it may be the kickstart or catalyst to a cycle that causes deeper and ongoing problems.
What are the dangers of stress at work?
As well as the toll on your mental health, feeling stressed at work can easily lead to workplace accidents and injuries.
Tired and stressed minds have a tendency to make rash and ill thought out decisions. Shortcuts are often sought as deadlines loom which in turn can easily lead to work accidents occurring.
Stressed individuals can often be irritable and difficult to get on with which can lead to them becoming isolated, unpopular and harm their earning potential if the problems and issues are not dealt with.
How can I combat stress at work?
As the time change nears, start going to sleep 15 minutes or so earlier and getting up earlier by the same amount. Starting your day with a brisk walk is a great way to wake yourself up and avoid napping on the day before the change.
If you suffer from an accident or stress-related illness at work, then you may be due some work illness compensation. Accident Advice Helpline offers professional guidance right through from initial consultation to final payout.
Date Published: February 19, 2014
Author: David Brown