This year, summer time begins on March 14, 2021, at two o'clock. We run forward and get daylight but lose an hour of sleep. I'm sure so many of you have experienced this before, this can lead to various side effects as our internal clock becomes out of sync. Each person is different and may have different reactions to the time change and the amount of adjustment time needed.
Lack of sleep. The change in time can affect the amount and type of sleep we get, which can affect hormone levels, the immune system and even the heart. Mood swings, appetite changes, cognitive ability, heart attack and stroke are some of the side effects.
Your workers can be affected for up to a week after changing the clock forward. Lack of sleep causes fatigue and fatigue can impair an employee's ability to make clear decisions, reduce concentration and cause drowsiness and muscle pain. Combined with strenuous physical or mental work, fatigue can even lead to costly workplace incidents. Understanding the impact of time change on employees is a good first step.
Here are some tips for companies to combat sleep deprivation after a time change:
- Adjust work processes to counteract the darker mornings.
- Provide additional light for those performing tasks inside and outside to reduce the potential hazards
- Postpone hazardous work until later in the week.
- Change start times so that people in dangerous positions can start later in the first days after the time change and gradually return to normal schedules.
- Implement extra safety precautions in the first few days until attention levels are readjusted.
There are also adjustments that your employees can make in their daily routine that can help prevent or reduce side effects. If necessary, share these tips with your employees before the time change:
- Let it be light! Try to get exposure to light / sunlight directly in the morning. Seeing the light only after waking up will help you reset your internal clock.
- Days before the time changes, go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than usual. This can help you prepare to lose the hour of sleep.
- Be consistent when you wake up. Getting out of bed at the same time every day is the best way to improve your overall sleep performance.
- Easy on the coffee! Days before and after the time change, limit the amount of caffeine intake, especially after lunch. Do not overdo caffeine to help you stay awake, as this will affect your sleep.
- No nap. Napping during the day after the time change will make it harder to sleep at night.
- Turn off the TV, avoid electronic devices, relax in a hot bath, or wear earplugs and / or eye masks. Think soothing.
In the end, it's only an hour. A little extra effort can minimize the effects of summer time and keep your business on track.
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