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Daylight-saving time leads to less sleep, more injuries on the job
Date:9/1/2009

WASHINGTON Every March, most Americans welcome the switch to daylight saving time because of the longer days, but also dread losing an hour of sleep after they move their clocks forward. Now a new study shows that losing just an hour of sleep could pose some dangerous consequences for those in hazardous work environments.

The findings are reported in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association.

"One hour of lost sleep may not seem like a lot. But our findings suggest it could have an impact on people's ability to stay alert on the job and prevent serious injuries." said the article's lead author, Christopher Barnes, PhD. Barnes and co-author David Wagner, PhD, were both doctoral students in organizational behavior at Michigan State University when they conducted this research.

They analyzed the number of injuries reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration from 1983 to 2006. The U.S. Department of Labor requires all mine operators to investigate and report all mining-related injuries. The researchers also looked at the number of work days employees missed as a result of their injuries. Across the 24 years, there were 576,292 reported injuries on the job.

On average, there were 3.6 more injuries on the Mondays following the switch to daylight saving time compared to other days, and 2,649 more days of work were lost as a result of those injuries. That's approximately a 68 percent increase in lost work days. In their analysis, the researchers controlled for weekends and holidays. Work experience did not appear to play a role in the number of injuries suffered.

The researchers also confirmed that people do sleep less in the days after they're forced to turn their clocks forward. They looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey, which measures the amount of time Americans spend engaged in vari
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Contact: Audrey Hamilton
ahamilton@apa.org
202-336-5706
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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