It happens every year: Temperatures get slightly warmer, plants show signs of life, and then—BAM!—we go through a time warp. Daylight Saving begins on Sunday, March 11, when we “spring forward” and move the clocks ahead one hour. The good news? This shifts more daylight and warmth into the evening hours. The bad news? Heavier eyelids on March 12, resulting in more dangerous roads.
Here are a few ways to combat the Daylight Saving blues.
Focus on Quality Sleep
This abrupt change may make your Monday morning commute a little chaotic. Losing one hour of sleep at night causes significant disruption in normal sleep cycles which can leave you feeling drowsy and groggy. This may affect your mental processing speed and reaction time while driving.
A study at the University of Colorado concluded that, on the Monday after the time change, car accident deaths have historically increased by 17%. According to the AAA of Southern New England, there is typically a 10% increase in car crashes when springing ahead. And John Hopkins found that an additional five fatal car crashes are a result of the time change. These studies are pretty enlightening, no pun intended.
While these statistics may seem frightening as we face that Monday morning, we can mitigate these risks by first focusing on quality sleep.
According to the USCDC, a third of Americans are sleep deprived – meaning that they get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. While we cannot add extra hours to the day to enjoy a lengthier slumber, there are things we can do to create an optimal environment that welcomes sleep. Establish healthy sleep patterns by making these changes to your pre-sleep routine:
- Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol 3 hours before you call it a night.
- Limit Smartphone use or exposure to TV at least 30 minutes before you hit the hay.
- Keep a consistent bedtime, even if you aren’t sleepy.
- Note the effects of exercise. If you feel sleepy after exercise then it most likely will not interfere with your sleep. However, if exercise amps you up, then make sure to finish your workout at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom dark and cool, between 60-67 degrees.
8 Tips to Prepare for the Time Change
Once you have healthy sleep patterns dialed in, these simple steps can help make your Daylight Saving transition a bit smoother.
- Begin going to bed 15 minutes earlier starting on the Wednesday before the time change. This will prevent being sleep deprived on Monday morning.
- Make work/school lunches the night before.
- Set out clothes and anything you’ll need for your day. Having everything set to go the night before will keep you from running late, getting frazzled, and starting your commute off on the wrong foot.
- Be mindful of music, phones, apps, or other distractions that may pull your focus away from the road. Consider using Bluetooth technology to make hands-free phone calls if necessary. The Honda CR-V has a host of other safety and driver-assistive technologies to alert you and keep you safe. These Honda Sensing technologies include collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, and lane keep assist system.
- Try to avoid driving during peak times when most car crashes occur: 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.; midnight to 2 a.m.; and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- If you have multiple drop-offs for your busy family, you can rely on the Navigation System available in the Honda Odyssey to accurately guide you there. The Odyssey comfortably seats eight and has an optional rear-seat entertainment system to engage passengers of all ages.
- While biking to work or school, consider avoiding busy streets and change your route to reduce the number of left-hand turns.
- If you have a flexible schedule, consider working from home or arrive at the office a bit later.
Even though the Daylight Saving’s Day time change is abrupt, our bodies are adaptable and our natural circadian rhythm will reestablish itself within a week. Getting quality sleep and preparing for the time change will help you remain alert while you travel to work—but you’re on your own when it comes to those TPS reports.
If you need a safe vehicle to get you through Daylight Saving this year, head to our Miami Honda dealerships. We have amazing, record-breaking deals on many new Honda models, including the CR-V, Odyssey, and Honda Accord, which is arguably the best sedan in the country.