Daylight saving time kicked into action yesterday morning at 2:00 a.m., but more people will feel its effects this morning now that it’s Monday. It takes some time for people’s sleep schedules to move, and chances are that a good number of you lost about an hour’s sleep last night. According to this now often-cited New England Journal of Medicine article, that lost hour of sleep correlates with an increase in car accidents; conversely, the gained hour of sleep in the fall correlates with a drop in car accidents:
There’s also an economic cost to the shift to daylight saving time, if the Lost Hour Economic Index is to be believed. In a study conducted by Chmura Economics and Analytics, the time shift can cost the U.S. as much as $434 million. This lost money comes from:
- The increase in the number of heart attacks (catalogued in the New England Journal of Medicine),
- increased workplace injuries in the mining and construction industries (catalogued in the Journal of Applied Psychology), and
- increased cyberloafing (published in the Journal of Applied Psychology).
The study doesn’t even factor in the economic losses from car accidents.
What can I say in closing, other than: be careful out there!