How Daylight Savings Time Affects Productivity
Plus, here are seven ways to maintain your effort and production.
7 min read
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Contrary to popular belief, daylight savings time was not pushed by the agriculture industry. According to The History Channel, farmers were “deeply opposed to the time switch when it was first implemented on March 31, 1918 — as a wartime measure.” But how does daylight savings time affect productivity?
The daylight savings time change has had a minimal effect on energy savings, and it has sucked the life out of productivity. Experts have found that daylight savings time is associated with productivity loss because of the following reasons.
Daylight savings alters your sleep schedule.
“I don’t know about long-term implications, but short-term effects play out primarily on the Monday after daylight saving and peter out throughout the rest of the week,” says Christopher Barnes, an assistant professor of management and organization at the University of Washington. “It might take two to four days to get back to normal.”
Barnes has found that most people lose up to 40 minutes of sleep after Daylight Savings Time. That may not seem like much. But, it’s just enough to throw your 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm, out of whack for the time being.
As a result, you may experience fatigue and daytime sleepiness. It also can impact your work performance, concentration and memory. Even more alarming is the fact that this productivity lapse can have serious implications. Traffic accidents shoot up the day after daylight-savings time begins. Workplace injuries are also known to spike after the time change in March.
While these accidents aren’t as common in November, moving our clocks in either direction can affect sleep since we’re forced to reset our 24-hour internal cycle. “In general, ‘losing’ an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than ‘gaining’ an hour in the fall,” writes Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. “It is similar to airplane travel; traveling east, we lose time.”
“Going to bed “earlier” could result in “difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night,” adds Dr. Breus. “Going west, we fall asleep easily but may have a difficult time waking.”
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