Gain an hour of sleep? Statistics show drowsy dangers of end to daylight saving time

Even though most people say they gain an hour of sleep when they “fall back,” the change of schedule can make people feel sleepier and police say drowsy driving crashes increase this time of year. (SBG)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KVAL) – Sunday at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4 residents in many places throughout the United States will set their clocks back an hour to standard time with the end of daylight saving time.

Even though most people say they gain an hour of sleep when they “fall back,” the change of schedule can make people feel sleepier, and police say drowsy driving crashes increase this time of year.

This is due to more people driving or commuting to work while it is still dark out.

Experts with the National Safety Council say it’s because the time change affects humans’ natural body clocks.

"Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver," the NSC said in a statment on their website.

According to the National Sleep Foundation poll, 60 percent of Americans said they have driven while they were tired. That same poll also states that 37 percent of people say they have fallen asleep at the wheel.

"Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Losing two hours of sleep has the same effect on driving as having three beers, and tired drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they are fatigued," the National Safety Council said in a statment.

The National Sleep Foundation offers the following advice:

  • "Get seven or more hours of sleep a night
  • Don't drive if you've been awake for 24 hours or more
  • Stop every two hours to rest
  • Pull over and take a nap if you're drowsy
  • Travel during times you are normally awake"


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