Missed sleep causes more accidents…
Recently in the media, it has been reported that there is some concern about daylight savings which begins early October in Australia. Creating panic and reporting a ban on daylight savings after health professionals declare it is bad for your health, is in effect, only partly true. The truth of the matter is, sleep or lack of it is bad for your health.
Research data from as early as 2014 investigated a rise in serious health conditions that presented to emergency departments in the first one to three days from the beginning of daylight saving.
Studies in the USA and Sweden found that heart attacks increase by 10 percent in the three days post daylight saving when clocks are put forward by one hour thus impacting sleep by one hour less. In addition to health associated risks, other countries reported increased traffic accidents on the Monday following a return to daylight savings by 7%. Workplace accidents also increased as a result of lack of sleep and poor concentration.
This information highlights sleep is a necessity not a luxury and just how important it is to maintaining health and wellness.
Daylight savings is lamented by many parents who find maintaining a sleep routine impossible especially in the toddler age group when days are longer and kids refuse to settle. Warm Summer evenings can mean you fit in more activities pushing young children into over-tiredness and a stress response that can cause delayed settling. The impact of fewer sleep hours then leads to sleep debt. This adds to family stress and can affect mental and physical health and safety.
My kids won’t go to sleep…
It’s important for parents to maintain a regular bedtime. Some strategies will need to be implemented in order to have young children settle when the sun is still up.
A dark room is vital and to maintaining your ‘winter’ wind-down time and sticking to the same routine throughout the year.
We all know there are likely to be late nights when families are more active during the summertime but it’s best to limit these and keep your children on track with their normal sleep habits. The odd late night will require you, on the following night, to keep to your normal sleep schedule to avoid later settling and ‘sleep debt’ becoming the new norm.
Sleep debt or sleep deprivation easily leads to a continuous cycle of difficulty falling asleep, broken sleep and wakeful nights and early rising. As a parent, we all know how sleep debt impacts family dynamics, health, and relationships.
Keeping sleep hours regular mean, with the same bedtime and wake up time, the whole family enjoys daylight saving and we surely need some quality family time as we come out of COVID isolation.