NEW YORK, NY - Nearly 70% of Americans responding to a recent survey from Sleepy's think they've found the answer to the annual post-DST sluggishness. They favor moving the time change from 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning to 2:00 a.m.
Saturday morning, a shift that would soften the Monday morning "clock shock" that many will feel after "springing forward" March 10th.
When compared with a similar survey undertaken by Sleepy's in 2011, this year's poll shows an increase of 16% among those who favor moving DST to Saturday, indicating rising concern about sleep disruption caused by the time change. Turning the clock forward has been linked with workplace fatigue and lower productivity, as well as a higher rate of workplace, school and traffic accidents.
"As advocates for healthy, high-quality sleep, we believe in doing everything in our power to improve our national sleep deficit," says Jeff Lobb, Sleepy's Chief Marketing Officer.
For those serious about their slumber, Sleepy's has posted a link to the "Soften the Shock" petition on its Facebook page. Here, like-minded sleep devotees can try to achieve the healthiest transition to DST possible.
The petition will be sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) which oversees the nation's time zones and the uniform observance of Daylight Saving Time.
Whether the petition gains any traction in time for next year remains to be seen, but in the meantime, how can Americans "spring forward" healthfully this year?
According to sleep educator and Sleepy's consultant Nancy Rothstein (The Sleep Ambassador(R)), "If you think about it, the TIME clock may change with an easy click, but our BODY clock's adjustment is more complicated. DST can challenge our sleep, health and even our safety by imposing an unnatural tweak to our internal clock. While the impact varies, for those who find the time change difficult or are already sleep deprived, simple shifts can ease the adjustment for sound, restorative sleep."
Here are some useful tips for coping with this year's anticipated "clock shock" and for better sleep throughout the year:
-- Soften your own "clock shock" Until the DOT decides to shift the DST change to Saturday at 2 AM, you have the freedom to make the change a day earlier for you and your family!
-- Buy yourself a new alarm clock or change the tone on your old one or whatever device you wake with. This way you already have "sleep on the brain" which can help you prepare for the adjustment.
-- Unhand your tech toys! The bright blue light emitted can keep you awake for hours. Some people are so wound up they even text in their sleep!
-- Driving delay? Consider delaying your drive to work until you are alert and awake, if you are very groggy the morning after DST begins.
Your safety and that of those around you depend on it! If you have to get going, exposure to natural sunlight or light therapy can help you wake up.
-- Bright is right! Expose yourself to bright, natural light when you awaken. Light is the primary cue for our body to wake up. It suppresses the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Consider using light therapy (see litebook.com) to adjust your daily body rhythm.
-- Consider eating dinner earlier and backing up your nighttime routine for a few days, readjusting the body to the time change.
-- Dim the lights in the evening, giving your body a signal that you are nearing bedtime.
..The online survey, conducted by Toluna PLC, assessed the opinions and attitudes of 1,050 adults over 18.
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