Daylight Saving Time will come to an end at 2 a.m. this Sunday, Nov. 5, which means it is time to “fall back.” You will be getting an extra hour of sleep, but that extra hour has a price tag associated with it. Here in the Chicago area it means it will be getting dark earlier.
The loss of an hour of daylight means many Americans in the Eastern and Central Standard Time zones will be leaving their workplaces around sunset. And that can spell some danger.
The danger comes in the transition from Daylight Saving time. Our bodies need time to adjust their circadian clocks. Longer nights can induce drowsy driving. Of course, most of us don’t go to sleep the moment it gets dark or wake up the moment the sun peeks over the horizon in the morning, but our internal clocks hardwire us for that kind of sleep cycle.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows drowsy-driving crashes most frequently occur between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late-afternoon — both times when there are dips in your circadian rhythm. About 100,000 police-reported crashes a year are a result of driver fatigue, according to the agency’s website.
With the end of daylight savings time comes an increase of darkness around the time of rush hour, when traffic is at a peak and many are making their way home from work. Drivers aren’t used to the decreased visibility and neither are pedestrians.
“When we change the time by one hour, it throws a monkey wrench into our circadian process,” said Christopher Barnes, an associate professor of management at the University of Washington who researches the impact of sleep deprivation, especially in the workplace.
“The following Monday, we’ve discovered that people have about 40 minutes less sleep. Because we’re already short on sleep to begin with, the effects of even 40 minutes are noticeable.”
This drowsiness can also affect our perception of what is going on around us. You might not be as aware of potentially dangerous people lurking nearby in places that were highly visible the previous week, but now make a good hiding place due to the early darkness.
Being aware of potentially dangerous people, places and situations can help you avoid physical confrontations. You need to be on your guard the next few weeks as you adjust to the time change and the early darkness that comes with it.
Thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students have learned how to improve their personal and situational awareness and to physically defend themselves using a wide variety of Martial Arts techniques.
Self-Defense Classes for Adult Men, Women and teens age 14 and older are taught Tuesday, and Thursday evenings 7:30pm – 8:30 pm.
You can sign up for Act in Self Defense classes at: fonsecamartialarts.com/self-defense
You will learn how to identify and avoid potentially dangerous people, places and situations at work, school, home and on the streets.
If you are interested in a Personal Safety/Self-Defense Class for you, your child’s high school, college, business, or organization contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.