The Dark Side of Daylight Savings Time

Daylight saving time starts this weekend, as it does at roughly this time every year. It’s when we “spring forward” one hour with the clocks so we can enjoy more sunshine at the end of the day. Sounds like a perfectly good thing, right?

As benign as it might seem, daylight saving time has a dark side. Although many people quickly acclimate to the change, others suffer sleep setbacks, anxiety, missed appointments, even car accidents as a result. In extreme cases, they can spend days feeling as if something is “off,” experts say.

First, the spring ahead leaves people sleep deprived. And then some forget to change their clocks — or fail to change a crucial clock, such as the alarm clock. They can realize their mistake when they’re already in danger of being late for work or a critical appointment — and have to rush about frantically. That gets the week off to a rocky start.

Some studies show a spike in car accidents in the days just after the time change, perhaps due to all that rushing around as well as the unexpected surprise of seeing the sun’s new placement in the sky. Suddenly, you’re driving home and the sun is in your eyes.

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