Daylight Saving Time is about to end and that has bigger consequences than just getting an extra hour of sleep and an earlier sunrise.
It also means more car crashes – particularly involving cars hitting pedestrians. Those accidents spike during the evening hours in the first few weeks after the clocks are set back. That’s according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The reason? Having an early sunset puts more drivers and pedestrians on the road together in twilight, when it’s harder to see. So keep your daytime running lights or headlights on at all times.
The time change also throws off our circadian rhythms. Which, according to the National Safety Commission, means we’re more distracted and don’t think as clearly until our bodies adjust. That makes us more likely to have accidents overall - in the car, at home or at work.
You also may need more vitamin D. Our bodies convert sunlight into vitamin D – and with fewer daylight hours, you may become deficient. So make sure to get outside, in daylight, for at least 10 minutes a day. And ask your doctor if you could use a supplement. Pregnant women and people over 50 are often deficient anyway, so this could make their levels even lower.
But there’s also good news associated with the end of Daylight Saving Time: Fewer heart attacks. Because people get an extra hour of sleep, they’re better rested, and the rate of heart attacks decreases significantly in the first week.