BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Sunday morning our clocks turned back, giving us an extra hour of sleep as Daylight Saving Time ended. While many of us might have woke up without noticing, experts say the time difference could take us weeks to adjust to.
A 2020 study by the National Institutes of Health says time changes can have a serious effect on our overall health by impacting blood flow to the brain, increasing the risk for heart attacks and immune related diseases.
"It can disturb people’s sleep patterns causing them to get a lot less sleep than what’s recommended," Doug Shupe said.
The risks don't stop there, it can also have an effect on our commute.
Spokesperson for the Auto Club, Doug Shupe says researchers with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety have found that drivers who get less than five hours of sleep have a similar crash risk of those who are driving while impaired.
"You always want to make sure that you are preparing your body for at least seven hours of good sleep each and every night," Shupe said.
So if you're planning on going for a long drive, avoid heavy foods and medications that can cause drowsiness.
“Every year we hear about incidents where a driver nods off and falls asleep at the wheel, it's particularly a problem for people who experience long commutes to and from work. They get drowsy during traffic and unfortunately it could lead to drowsy driving which results in a crash," Shupe said.
Shupe says with darkness coming earlier in the day, replace or restore your headlights to allow more light to hit the roadway.
"And most importantly always for children and for adults we remind you if you are bicycling, or you're walking or you're jogging make sure that you always make eye contact with drivers so that you know that those drivers see you," Shupe said.
Daylight Saving Time will roll back around on March 13, 2022.