Sleep experts urge caution as Daylight Saving Time approaches

Sleep experts say their could be an increase in Traffic Accidents as Daylight Saving Time approaches.

Posted: Mar 9, 2019 9:43 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2019 2:50 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Its that time of year to spring forward, which means we enjoy days that last later in exchange for a lost hour of sleep.  Experts in the field of sleep warn this yearly time ritual we've taken part in now for over a century can come with consequences.

"The average individual loses about 40 to 50 minutes of sleep during this transition." Dr. Suzanne Stevens, a neurologist at the University of Kansas Health System said. 

Dr. Stevens said the time ritual can have negative effects on the body and mind, as well as on the road. She added that she's seen data showing there's a higher risk of car accidents immediately after Daylight Saving Time because people aren't paying attention.

"When you're tired, that will obviously affect your driving," Cpl. Robert Dudeck, Missouri State Highway Patrol said.  

Dudeck also warned drivers about the dangers of driving while sleep-deprived, adding that just because awareness levels may be lowered, the risk of danger never changes.

Dr. Stevens has some suggestions for drivers to manage as the body reacts to the time change. 

"You'll want to avoid napping during the day," she said. "You'll want to stay active during the day, and you want to have calmed down time at night to shut off electronics, to allow your body to relax." 

It's advice health experts and highway patrol both want drivers to keep in mind until our bodies get used to the change.

Dr. Stevens said it could take up to a week for our bodies to fully recover from the hour lost from Daylight Saving Time. 

Saint Joseph
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This week will be much cooler than last week for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Wind chills Monday morning will be in the teens with the daytime high only getting into the 40s. Current models indicate a slight chance for precipitation Wednesday night into Thursday morning. We have a slight chance to see drizzle overnight Wednesday and flurries and/or light snow possible Thursday morning.
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