Coffee — it’s not just for breakfast anymore.
The director of the University of Iowa’s Sleep Disorder Clinic says this weekend’s change to Daylight Saving Time will likely mean a boost in fender benders — and worse.
Dr. Eric Dyken recommends a strong cuppa’ Joe late in the afternoon all next week if you find you’re getting sleepy sooner.
Dyken says, “The initial period, whether it’s spring of fall, that one-week period following the change, there’s usually an increase in traffic-related fatalities, especially in pedestrians being hit by cars around 6 o’clock P.M. when people are getting back from work because they’re tired.”
Everyone reacts differently to the twice-a-year “Spring Forward, Fall Back” ritual. He says some people readjust to the change within 24 hours, while others need a full week. He says Iowans need to recognize the time change -can- have an impact on their bodies.
“Be aware that you might be at risk for making a fatigue or sleepy-related accident doing something difficult,” Dyken says. “Around 5 or 6 in the afternoon when you’re driving home, be extra cautious, just common sense.” He says he’s usually prone to recommend more holistic solutions, however, he says some Iowans might want to resort to more traditional alternatives to keep themselves alert over the next week.
“There is something to a good caffeinated beverage,” Dyken says. “A Red Bull has 80 milligrams of caffeine in it. A good strong cup of coffee, maybe 120 milligrams of caffeine. It takes about 30 minutes for that caffeine to get into the system once you ingest it.” He says studies find the use of Daylight Saving Time helps conserve energy, saves money and actually reduces the number of traffic fatalities by 1%.
Iowans need to shift their clocks forward one hour before heading to bed on Saturday night