NORFOLK, Va. — It’s the first day of daylight saving! Last night we lost an hour of sleep and you may be feeling the effects today.
Since our internal clock isn’t matching the external clock, you might feel a little sluggish and slow as your body adjusts to the change.
That hour of sleep can make a big difference in how we all function – even when you’re behind the wheel of a car, according to AAA Tidewater.
AAA Tidewater public relations specialist Ryan Adcock is sending a warning about drowsy driving.
“Drowsy driving especially comes up on a day like today,” he said.
Adcock said, according to AAA research, drivers who miss one to two hours of sleep can nearly double their risk for a crash, and drivers who’ve slept for less than five hours have a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.
And the morning commute, Adcock said, is going to look a lot different.
"Many peoples morning commutes that are normally bright and sunny are now going to be a little bit darker," he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it can take up to a week for your body to adjust to new sleeping times. That means you might have trouble falling and staying asleep which can lead to sleep deprivation and mistakes like car crashes.
Adcock said with sunrise starting much later in the morning, it’s important to prioritize sleep and pay attention on the road.
“Just being aware of that darkness in the morning especially with people that may be out running early in the morning as well as kids who are going to be walking to school in the dark," Adcock said. "So just being extra vigilant, extra attentive – especially in those more residential areas.”
March is also National Sleep Awareness Month and doctors with Patient First say it’s time to pay attention to your sleep routine. According to the CDC, adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night, teens need anywhere from 8 to 10 hours, and younger school-aged children need nine to 12 hours.
Daylight Saving is also a reminder to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.