Survey: Daylight Saving Time May Contribute to Sleep Loss

"Spring Ahead" Time Change Makes Americans Lose the Spring in Their Step


Setting the clocks ahead for  Daylight Saving Time each spring contributes to the serious sleep starvation epidemic in America. Respondents to a Better Sleep Council survey agree that the time change is never an easy transition.

Daylight Saving Time Creates Chaos

Adjusting to sleep loss from time changes has serious impacts on all aspects of Americans’ lives.

The time change has people sleepwalking through life

When the clocks get moved, people report concerning outcomes:

  • 74% of workers over 30 who report not getting adequate sleep say sleepiness affects their work
  • 4% of respondents admit to actually getting into traffic accidents due to lack of sleep
  • 9% of Americans say they’re likely to fall asleep at inappropriate moments, such as when driving or in a meeting
  • 4% admit to being much less pleasant to be around when tired
  • 5% say they are worse than the Incredible Hulk when they are sleep-deprived

Adjusting to the time change takes a lot of time

Adjusting to the time change is not a simple matter for many people.

  • 11% of U.S. adults say it takes them more than a week to get back to normal after resetting their clocks
  • Another 29% say it takes them a full week to regain their equilibrium
  • Nearly half (46%) of women need a week or more to feel normal, compared to one-third (32%) of men
  • 43% of younger adults need at least one week to adjust to the time change compared to:
    • 39% of those ages 35-54
    • 28% of people ages 55+

Lack of sleep can be dangerous

Sleep deprivation can lead to mistakes and poor judgment.

  • 12% of respondents reported that they forgot to do something because of tiredness
  • 7% reported being late to work or an appointment due to sleep loss
  • 5% reported acting irrationally from being tired
  • 4% reported getting into an automobile accident when sleep-deprived

People report sleep loss has caused them to do crazy things

Here are a few things people say sleep deprivation has made them do:

  • Lock themselves out of the house
  • Throw away valuable items
  • Fail a test
  • Drive to the wrong location
  • Get in shower still wearing underwear
  • Put soap in the baby bottle
  • Be less productive at work
  • Overeat
  • Go to the ATM to order food
  • Step on a cat
  • Walk into wrong bathroom
  • Tell off-color jokes
  • Go to work on a day off
  • Make the coffee wrong
  • Wear slippers outside
  • Put their clothes on inside-out
  • Put their paycheck in garbage

Gaining an hour of sleep with the fall time change is priceless

The chance to get extra sleep is something people jump at.

  • 3 in 10 Americans believe that an extra hour of sleep a night is worth $100 or more
  • Women find an extra hour of sleep more valuable than men do
  • Adults 55+ are less likely than other age groups or the general population to feel this way
  • More women than men would feel better and more prepared for the day with an extra hour of sleep

Survey Details: Conducted in first quarter 2013 and the first quarter 2014 with a statistically representative sample of U.S. adults (21+); a sample size of 1,061 yields a confidence interval of 95% +/- 3%. Secondary research noted below.

Additional resource materials

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labeled lack of sleep as an American epidemic in March 2011 http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/index.html#References

“Go Ahead, Hit the Snooze Button,” The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 2013 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578257894191502654.html

“Insomnia and the Performance of U.S. Workers: Results from the America Insomnia Survey” SLEEP 2011 http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=28247

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